ISLAMABAD: On Tuesday, the federal government announced the appointment of retired Lt. Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa as chairman of newly formed China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority (CPECA) despite strong criticism of the opposition regarding the formation of the authority.
As per the notification issued by the Establishment Division, it mentioned that the authority has appointed retired Lt. General Bajwa as chairman of the CPECA, which falls under the planning and development ministry.
The notification stated that “The new chairperson will get MP-I scale for a period of four years from the date of assuming the charge of the office with immediate effect and until further orders.”
The government through an ordinance in October formed the CPECA, this year right before the visit of PM Imran Khan to Beijing. The ultimate aim behind the formation of authority is to ensure that the CPEC projects are completed on time.
“Vast powers and authority has been given to the CPECA to summon any information regarding the CPEC activities and impose fines and penalties who fail to implement or do assigned tasks,” a senior official told Surkhiyan.
He added that the CPECA would also help in ensuring better coordination among the concerned departments.
Retired Lt Gen Bajwa had served as Commander Southern Command before his retirement. He remained director general of the Inter-Services Public Relations from 2012 to 2016.
The mainstream opposition parties including PPP and PML-N have already rejected the formation of the CPECA and referred it a complete violation of recommendations of the concerned parliamentary committee.
According to PPP leadership, the formation of the authority undermined the supremacy of the parliament. Whereas, the PML-N was of the view that instead of mitigating the already existing problems and complications between the ministries and departments the CPECA would enhance them.
The CPECA would create more bureaucratic hurdles and limitations that would affect the CPEC, one of the PML-N leaders claimed while speaking to Surkhiyan.
JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Tuesday also strongly criticised the formation of the CPECA while adding that the PTI led federal government is making the CPEC project controversial that is not good at all.
“There was no need to establish a separate authority for the CPEC project, “ he said at a press conference on Tuesday.
He further said that the government negated the parliamentary committee’s decision against the formation of such a authority.
Rehman said that the joint opposition would oppose the formation of the CPECA at all forums.