The Federal Cabinet is all set to approve the establishment of a CPEC Authority on September 12, 2019 through an Ordinance already cleared by Cabinet Committee for Disposal of Legislative Cases (CCLC). According to the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform, CPEC is now entering its next phase with the incorporation of additional areas, including trade and market access, industrial cooperation, socio-economic development, poverty alleviation, agriculture, Gwadar development and blue economy, regional connectivity and third country participation. Hence, a new management entity is needed.
In a meeting held on held on May 20, 2019 chaired by the Prime Minister it was decided to establish the CPEC Authority. On August 26, 2019, during a meeting of Cabinet Committee on CPEC (CCoCPEC), Advisor to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms and Austerity, Dr Ishrat Hussain supported the idea of setting up an Authority, however, he expressed concerns over the massive size of the Authority and suggested that a smaller Authority can be more effective and manageable. And services of thorough professionals, well-experienced and qualified personnel may be acquired for smooth functioning of the Authority.
The Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood also suggested a leaner set up for the Authority. The Authority will consist of a Chairman, two Executive Directors and six members for a period of four years to be appointed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The entire top team of the proposed Authority shall be eligible for re-appointment for similar term.
The powers and functions of the Authority are as follows: (i) in addition to such other powers and functions as may be assigned under this Ordinance and rules, the Authority shall be primarily responsible for coordination, monitoring, evaluation and ensuring implementation of CPEC related activities. The Authority shall exercise its powers and perform its functions in line with the framework and MOU signed between Pakistan and China, provided that the federal government may, from time to time, assign more functions and issue guidelines; (ii) the Authority will interface with China for identifying new areas of cooperation projects and organize meetings with Joint Cooperation Committee and Joint Working Groups (JWGs); and (iii) it will ensure inter-provincial and inter-ministerial coordination for CPEC activities, in addition to narrative building and communication about CPEC related activities and conduct sectoral research for informal decision making and long-term planning.
The Chairman, and Executive Director and a Member may resign from his office by writing under his hand addressed to the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister may remove the Chairman, Executive Directors or Members from office, if on an inquiry conducted under the order of the Prime Minister, he is found inefficient or unable to perform the functions of his office due to mental or physical disability or to have committee misconduct.
(This news/article originally appeared in Business Recorder on September 10th, 2019)