Parliamentary Secretary for Planning Development and Reform Kanwal Shauzab on Thursday informed the National Assembly that the total cost of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects including ML-1 stands at 50 billion dollars.

Responding to a question during the question hour, she said out of the total projects, 13 projects worth around 11 billion dollars have been completed, while 13 projects worth 18 billion dollars are under implementation. Another 21 billion dollar projects are in the pipeline, she added. About 46 percent work on Gwadar East Bay expressway has completed, she said, adding that New Gwadar International Airport is being built with the Chinese grant.

Federal Minister for Energy Omar Ayub informed the National Assembly that Rs 300 million was allocated for upgradation of 132 kilowatt grid station and electrification of villages in Chitral.

He was responding to a calling attention notice of members of National Assembly Moulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali and Shahida Akhter Ali regarding delay in laying of electricity transmission lines to union councils Broze and Ayon and villages Kesu, Arsun, Ashreit and Arndu despite release of funds. The minister told the House that Rs 150 million will be spent on upgradation of grid station and Rs 150 million on laying of transmission lines and electrification. The finance ministry will soon release the allocated funds, he added.

While speaking on a point of order, MNA Shazia Sobia complained about the problem of overbilling at Parliament Lodges.

The power minister assured the House that National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) will announce new tariff to revise down electricity rates for community tube wells installed for purpose of supplying drinking water in different areas of Islamabad.

He was replying to a calling attention notice of MNAs Ali Nawaz Awan, Raja Khurram Shahzad and Nafeesa Inayatullah Khan Khattak regarding electricity connections for tube wells meant for community-based supply schemes in Islamabad Capital Territory at the higher rate of A3 tariff instead of the lower DI tariff.

Responding to concerns of MNAs over a recent incident in Nankana Sahib, Omar said Pakistan is a peaceful country and every Pakistan is a free citizen. He said the government is bound to protect life and property of every citizen. Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri said the Nankana Sahib incident occurred when people were protesting against the local administration over the arrest of some persons. Some miscreants gave it a religious colour and India used the incident to unleash propaganda against Pakistan, he said. The Ministry of Commerce informed the National Assembly that as a result of Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP+), Pakistan’s garments exports to European Union (EU) increased from $6.87 billion in 2013 to $7.98 billion in 2018. In a written reply in the National Assembly, the ministry told that under GSP+ Pakistan has duty-free access to the EU market for garments and apparel and Pakistan’s exports in garments and hosiery have increased by 92 percent.