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China requested to remove bottlenecks in CPEC projects
  ·  2021-11-11  ·   Source: The Daily Mail, Pakistan
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Pakistan China Economic Affairs, Khalid Mansoor, said that Islamabad had made a request to the Chinese side for removing stumbling blocks in the way of completion of approximately $12 billion projects under CPEC. He said that Pakistan would be willing to get a mix of Chinese and US dollar loans from Beijing to execute the projects under the CPEC. 

“We have sought Chinese support for six energy and one infrastructure project – the Mainline (ML-1) scheme of the Pakistan Railways. The cost of the energy projects is $5 billion and the minimum estimated value of the ML-1 scheme is $6.8 billion,” the SAPM on Pak-China Economic Affairs, Khalid Mansoor, said while talking to a select group of reporters . 

He said that he had written two letters to the vice chairman of National Development and Reforms Commission (NDRC) of China, urging him to remove barriers in completion of these projects. 

Pakistan, he said, was waiting for a term sheet from China for finalization of loan agreement, adding that Pakistan would demonstrate flexibility on the interest rates, foreign currency and tenor of the loan amounts. Pakistan had earlier requested to get loan at 1pc in US currency but now we are willing to secure the loan at an interest rate of around 2pc in an equal mix of Chinese and the US currency, he added. 

The government had approved the 1,700-kilometre ML-I project at $6.8 billion, which Mansoor said was at the lower side. Pakistan has offered the Chinese to arrange all-Chinese competitive bidding for the ML-I project and if the bids are higher than $6.8 billion, the government stands ready to revise the PC-I of the ML-1 project. He said that the military has offered to provide complete security to the project. 

“We are trying to save the Gwadar power plant, Karo power plant, Kohala power plant from the adverse impacts of delay in power purchase payments to Chinese sponsors,” said Mansoor. “They (Chinese) are seeking sureties that these new power plants are also not stuck up in the circular debt,” he added. 

Mansoor said the government was actively working to pay outstanding dues of Rs250 billion to Chinese companies on account of power purchase payments that are stuck up in the form of circular debt. 

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