ISLAMABAD: The high ups of the ministry of planning and development have said that the monitoring of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project will not be assigned to the Army or any other authority adding that its complete monitoring will rest with this ministry. The National Assembly (NA) standing committee on planning, development and reforms met on Tuesday here under its chairman Abdul Majid Khan. The meeting was attended by its members Muhammad Athar Shah, Shaheena Shafiq, Shams un Nisa, Junaid Akbar, Asia Nasir, Sher Akbar, Iftikhar ud Din and senior officers of QESCO, Railway, civil aviation, NHA and ministry of port and shipping. Zafar Hassan, the secretary ministry of planning and development, while briefing the committee said that no authority including the Army was being set up to monitor the CPEC project nor any such proposal was under consideration. Work was continuing under the ministry of planning and development and complete consultation was being made with all the respective institutions. He said that the Gwadar Free Port would be inaugurated next month and work was under way on the projects including the Gwadar Safe City costing Rs 1.5 billion, the expansion of a hospital at a cost of Rs 25 billion and the setting up of a vocational training institute. The Chairman Committee, Abdul Majid Khan, raised the question that the business of illegal colonies and commercial plots had reached its peak in Gwadar and yet no steps were being taken to curb the illegal activity. The ministry of planning admitted that no master plan could be worked out for Gwadar Port and the city because the master plan would be evolved in consultation with Chinese authorities. The committee expressed its displeasure on the matter saying that not preparing the master plan for such a vital and major project was regrettable. The chairman committee said controversial reports were circulating about the CPEC that work on the projects were slow paced. Therefore, a proper forum would be evolved in this respect so that all the concerned departments could benefit from it. Checks and balances would be kept on the Gwadar Development Authority so that NOC could be issued for sale for the purchase of illegal land. No matter can run without the cooperation of the Army, he stressed adding that maintaining law and order in the country was the responsibility of the Army. Senior officials of the Civil Aviation told the committee that work on Gwadar International airport would start in September and would be concluded within a limited timeframe which would be transparent. The ministry of railways, while giving a briefing to the committee, said that work was under way on laying a 1681 kilometre railway track (ML-1) from Karachi to Peshawar, a 1254 kilometre railway line (ML-2) from Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar and a 1150 long kilometre railway line from Gwadar to Bismia and Quetta. The plan had been finalized for laying the railway track from Chaman to Kandahar and Peshawar to Jalalabad under the CPEC. The Chief Engineer QESCO, Sheikh Attiq, told the committee that work was continuing on projects for supplying electricity to Gwadar city. 300 megawatts of electricity would be sufficient to cater to the needs of Gwadar, he remarked. The ministry of port and shipping told the committee that Chinese companies had been given tax exemption for 20 years and 2200 acres of land had been allocated for the economy free zone. Consultation process was under way with the top authorities of all the four provinces in connection with the economic zones. The member committee, Iftikharud Din expressing annoyance over the ministry of planning said that 40 years old projects had been included in the PSDP and these projects were still left incomplete. Sher Akbar said that the backward areas had been overlooked under the CPEC and funds were not being provided despite the allocation of small projects.