ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet decided on Wednesday that contracts for construction of $3.5 billion road projects of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor be awarded to Chinese companies through bidding.
A meeting of the ECC presided over by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was informed that Article-II of the CPEC Framework Agreement required that bidding for such projects would be limited to Chinese firms.
The meeting was convened on the request of the ministry of communications to formally allow the bidding.
Two projects of the CPEC earmarked for early completion– $2.6bn Karachi-Lahore Motorway and $920 million Karakoram Highway Phase-II – have been included in the current year’s Public Sector Development Programme for their completion in 2017-18.
The projects, to be constructed on ‘build, operate and transfer’ basis, will be undertaken by the National Highway Authority. China will facilitate loans for them through its financial institutions led by the China Development Bank.
An official said that the procurement rules required award of contracts for public sector projects through international competitive bidding, but since the two projects were under the CPEC programme with most of the funding originating from China, the bidding would be limited to Chinese contractors.
The Chinese government will nominate its companies for bidding and will be responsible for their performance.
The government of Pakistan will ensure land acquisition, related infrastructure and security of Chinese contractors.
Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2015