After the Central Development Working Party’s approval regarding the up-gradation of the Karachi-Peshawar Main-Line (ML1) Project, the government is expecting the groundbreaking of the project around March 2021.
According to the budgetary documents, the concessional financing agreement for the landmark ML-1 Project (estimated to be $7.2 billion) is expected to be finalized in 2020, and subsequently, an arrangement will be made for the commencement of physical work.
The strategic railway project of ML-1 has been planned as part of the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The implementation period of the project is nine years — to be executed in three phases. The project, which aims to upgrade and dualism of 1,872-km rail track from Peshawar to Karachi, has the potential to create 174,000 direct jobs.
According to documents, “The government has so far remarkable progress on the ML-1 project, with the financing committee, which has participation from both countries, successfully holding several meetings to finalize the concessional financial modalities for the project.”
Meanwhile, the government has allocated a total of Rs 6 billion for the ML-1 Project under its Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) 2020-21.
A planning ministry official informed that the project allocation would be increased in the coming years when physical work on the project would start gaining momentum.
He said that 90% of the total project would be funded by China.
In total, the government has allocated Rs 77 billion for various development projects under CPEC for the year 2020-21