ISLAMABAD (Staff Reporter/Agencies) – All Parties Conference on Friday to complete the western route of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project in the next two and a half years.

A meeting of leading political parties of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan Provinces under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad.

The meeting decided that working on the principle of ‘One Corridor, Multiple Passages’, the western alignment of the CPEC will be constructed on priority. If required, the existing allocation for this alignment, i.e. 40.00 billion rupees will be enhanced appropriately.

With a broad consensus, it was agreed upon that the location of industrial parks will be decided in consultation with the provinces and provision of allied facilities and infrastructure required for these industrial parks will be the responsibility of the federal and provincial governments according to their respective roles.

The western alignment for CPEC will be 4-lane expressway in the first phase, but with a provision for subsequent conversion into 6-lane limited access Motorway, for which early finalisation of land acquisition will be the responsibility of government of KP.

Funds for the land acquisition will however, be provided by the federal government.

A high-powered committee, to be headed by the PM, was also constituted for periodical consultation with the provinces on matters related to the CPEC: Other members of the committee are the five chief ministers, chairman of parliamentary committee on CPEC, Minister for Planning and Development, Minister for Water and Power, Minister for Railways and Minister for Communications.

It was decided that a cell will be created in the Ministry of Planning, Development & Reform for coordination and information sharing with the provinces.

All the participants reaffirmed their complete support to the CPEC and agreed that the new institutional framework will be able to better accommodate the regional concerns in future.