Quetta: No Special Economic Zone (SEZ) was approved in 7th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting for Balochistan because Balochistan Government could not prepare the feasibility report for Bostan SEZ on time.
7th meeting of JCC, the top-most decision-making body for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), was held in Islamabad on 20-21 November.
Amongst other things, this JCC meeting approved funding for three SEZs: Rashakai Free Economic Zone in Nowshera district, Faisalabad Free Economic Zone and Dhabiji Economic Zone in Thatta district.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Sindh got one SEZ each but Balochistan could not get Bostan SEZ approved because the feasibility report is not prepared yet.
All federating units have submitted their feasibility studies, except Balochistan which has yet to prepare and submit feasibility report for SEZs
Reportedly, all federating units including Gilgit-Baltistan and FATA have submitted their feasibility studies, except Balochistan which has yet to prepare and submit feasibility report for SEZs.
Now, the SEZ of Balochistan can’t be made part of CPEC until the next JCC meeting which will take place at the end of 2018.
Bostan is one of the 9 SEZs which will be funded as a part of CPEC after approval of feasibility reports in JCC meetings.
Experts also question the choice of Bostan as a SEZ as per CPEC standards. They fear that Bostan may have been chosen on political grounds rather than technical grounds. Experts believe that Khuzdar can be better suited for a SEZ given the fact that its intersection point for three major routes of CPEC.
CPEC, a multi-billion dollar plan is part of China’s Belt and Road initiative. CPEC is one of the most discussed subjects in Balochistan. Detractors of CPEC claim that Balochistan is left out in development projects of CPEC. However, the role of Balochistan Government in failing to keep up with other provinces in preparing feasibility reports is hardly ever discussed.
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