Chinese power firms offered part payments

Published October 23, 2021
Chairman of the National Assembly’s Parliamentary Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Sher Ali Arbab addresses the Regional Dialogue on the Role of Parliament in Promoting Exports, Trade and Commerce under CPEC in Sindh. — APP/File
Chairman of the National Assembly’s Parliamentary Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Sher Ali Arbab addresses the Regional Dialogue on the Role of Parliament in Promoting Exports, Trade and Commerce under CPEC in Sindh. — APP/File

LAHORE: The government is convincing Chinese companies — engaged in various power projects — to receive capacity payments in installments instead of full amounts, as it would be convenient for it to clear pending dues.

“There are some issues prevailing in various CPEC and non-CPEC projects. One of the major issues is the capacity payments liable to be paid by the government to the Chinese companies. And the government wants companies to receive payments in installments since it is not possible to clear these payments fully,” chairman of the National Assembly’s Parliamentary Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Sher Ali Arbab told Dawn on Friday.

Mr Arbab, who concluded his two-day visit to Lahore, blamed media for creating an impression of CPEC-related projects allowed down allegedly on the part of the government and said he was closely watching all issues in this regard.

Arbab hopes for early resumption of work on Dasu project

“It is a reality that there are some issues that also include the ones related to security of Chinese. At some projects the work was carried out slowly while some were underway fast. And some, including Lahore Orange Line Metro Train and Matiari-Lahore High Voltage Direct Current Transmission Line have been completed,” he explained and clarified: “But the issues are not so much as being discussed or reported by media. I strongly dispel this impression,”

He said the government was heading in a right direction to resolve all issues, including the capacity payments, amicably as it has succeeded in developing consensus with Chinese in this regard.

Talking about the ML-1 Project of Pakistan Railways, Mr Arbab said that the issues in the wake of approval of this mega scheme were also being resolved on top priority.

“This is the project worth US $6.8 billion already approved by the government under the CPEC. Chinese say that the cost estimation for the project is not according to its components. They say it should be nearly $8bn or so. So we have asked them to revise, discuss with us and justify the cost estimation revision since we have to pay some interest on such huge money,” he maintained. “They (Chinese) are now working on this.”

He said as all issues related to capacity payments, revision of cost estimation, security of Chinese, etc., were moving towards resolution, the ML-1 project would soon be approved by Chinese government by issuance of funds.

Talking about the Dasu Hydropower project, where the Chinese stopped work due to killing of nine Chinese engineers in a terrorist attack a couple of months ago, Mr Arbab said the prime minister was supervising this issue very keenly.

“On the PM’s directions, extreme security related SOPs (standard operating procedures) for Chinese have been implemented. We also hope that the (Chinese) would soon resume construction activities,” he said.

Published in Dawn, October 23rd, 2021

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