Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has set up a Cabinet Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor for the implementation of the strategic $55 billion project, completely overhauling the existing institutional arrangement and bypassing the planning ministry.
The move will further consolidate the premier’s grip on power. He has already taken complete control of all cabinet committees dealing with economic matters.
The new arrangement suggests that every important decision on concerning the economic and development of the country will have to be initiated or decided on by the premier himself.
The prime minister will be the chairman of the new committee that will be empowered to take all decisions on planning and execution of the strategically important project.
Notably, the new institutional arrangement does not give a policy role to the military establishment.
About two years ago, the military establishment had requested setting up a CPEC authority under the control of a general, but the federal government did not agree to that proposal.
The federal government also notified the new 11-member Cabinet Committee on CPEC. The new institutional arrangement has made the Ministry for Planning and Development’s role entirely irrelevant.
This is in contrast to the previous arrangement in which the planning ministry was at the centre of CPEC planning and execution.
Credit: Express Tribune