A week ago, legal status of the CPEC Authority was questioned in the Senate as the extended term of the Authority expired in June. The CPEC Authority Ordinance was implemented by the President in October 2019. Through this ordinance, an authority comprising of 10 member was formed, whose job was to accelerate all the developmental projects going on under CPEC. However, as the Ordinance has expired, the laws under which this authority is functioning, remain unknown. Moreover, it is suspected that the lack of communication between the Centre and Provinces is slowing down the pace of all CPEC projects. Considering all of these issues, the Government of Pakistan is all set to make huge changes in the project so that its developmental progress can pick up pace.
The government has prepared a fresh draft of the CPEC Authority Bill 2020 which has been approved by the Cabinet Committee on the Disposal of the Legislative Cases (CCLC). This draft proposes a few changes in the bill that will help clear out some hurdle in the way of CPEC’s fast-paced progress;
- The Chief Executive Officer position to be abolished
- The decision making powers of the Chairman to be reduced
- CPEC Business Council to no longer be constituted by CPEC Authority
It is suspected that an improved version of the bill will be presented to the National Assembly soon.
The abolishment of CEO’s position will provide the provincial governments a better opportunity and freedom in decision making of the projects and thus the communication gap will be filled to some extent. Moreover, the decisions in this authority will be taken by majority of total number. The authority may seek facilitation or assistance by any government agency or department that is designated by the provincial government.