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Pakistan approves Rs 38 billion cross-border optic fiber cable project with China

The Central Development Working Party approves Rs 38 billion cross-border optic fiber cable to improve connectivity across the country

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The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) earlier this week cleared an Rs38 billion project for laying a cross-border optic fiber cable with China.

The project approved is part of five other development projects with a total cost of around Rs 54 billion.

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The approval came during a meeting of the CDWP presided by Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan.

The purpose of these development projects is to create a path for further international connectivity through the Pak-China border. This will help create stable and uninterrupted connectivity between the North and South of the country and establish multiple connectivity pathways.

Central Development Working Party approves optic fiber cable

According to The Inclusive Internet Index 2020, Pakistan falls into the last quartile of countries, ranking at 76th out of 100 countries (24th out of 26 Asian countries).

Besides a low level of digital literacy and poor quality networks, the country also scored poorly in the affordability indicators. Internet access in Pakistan stands at around 35 percent, with 78 million broadband and 76 million mobile internets (3/4G) connections.

“Around 35 percent of Pakistan lacks internet infrastructure,” Amin ul Haque, Pakistan’s minister for information technology, reported by The Diplomat. “There is an urban and rural divide. Most private companies invest in urban towns for commercial reasons and benefits. They refrain from investing in rural and far-flung areas,”

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The CDWP meeting also agreed to a fifty-fifty sharing of coronavirus response with provinces. The sharing also extends to other natural calamities.

The project will be titled “Covid-19 Responsive and Other Natural Calamities Control Programme” worth Rs70bn with proposed changes.  AJK and GB will also be covered under the project financing.

Islamabad High court construction, Education projects approved

The Central Development Working Party meeting also approved the project titled Physical Planning & Housing titled “Construction of Islamabad High Court Building at Islamabad (Revised)” worth Rs4.989bn. The project will take on the construction of the Islamabad High Court on an acquired plot measuring 220,000 square feet. The budget includes provisions for the construction of courts, auditorium, car parking, road & paths, plumbing works, woodworks, etc.

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The CDWP also approved two projects related to education. The first being a project, namely “Support to Basic Education Development Project AJ&K,” worth Rs5.97bn, and the second project is titled the “Basic Education for All Project AJ&K,” worth Rs1.58bn.

The meeting also approved an Rs3.482bn worth of a project, namely “Establishment of National Aerospace Science & Technology Park.”

GVS News Desk

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