Milestones towards genuine progress.


Byline: Imtiaz Rafi Butt

Pakistan is observing a wide range of transformations in various areas of governance. China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is by far, the most imperative project when it comes to boosting the economy and developing the lagging infrastructure in collaboration with China. On 19thAugust, 2019, the Government of Imran Khan took yet another bold step in the right direction.

A meeting was held in Islamabad where progress was discussed and critical decisions were taken in the presence of Minster for Development and Planning, Khusro Bakhtiar, Minister for Communication, Murad Saeed, Minister for Energy, Omar Ayub among others. Imran Khan headed the meeting himself and showed remarkable commitment to the completion of CPEC projects in letter and spirit. These are the kind of steps that were required from the start, a well-guided program based on competence and accountability.

The most notable milestone achieved by the PTI Government in the last few months is the setting up of CPEC Authority. As the name applies, this CPEC Authority is an initiative to create independence and pragmatism in the implementation scheme of CPEC.

The Authority will provide a mainframe for all stakeholders to come together in the removal of hurdles. Past experience, with different sectors in Pakistan, have shown that independent authorities with a specialized instead of generic structure, is highly effective. When an Authority is created and its workforce is fully focused on one task at hand, it proves to deliver practical and numbered results.

The argument here is not to malign or down play the federal bureaucracy, but to highlight that one solution fit for all approach will not work with CPEC. A good example of independent Authority performing the job of multiple provincial departments is that of Punjab Food Authority, which has shown commendable achievements in regulation of health and safety standards in the food industry of the province.

In the same pattern, CPEC Authority will have independence in decision making and delivering the timelines as required. A solution to the snail-pace has been found, it a milestone like no other. From the creation of this body, status of CPEC projects, delays and hurdles and complaint handling can be dealt with unilaterally while it will serve as a point of contact, information and communication with the Federal Government and the Prime Minister's Secretariat. This administrative reform is nothing short of...

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