New Delhi, Sep 20 (IANS) The Pakistan government is expected to make partial payments out of about $1.4 billion payables in a few days to assuage the concerns of the worried Chinese firms which have invested in independent power producers (IPPs) and other projects, the Dawn reported.
“We are working hard to clear at least some of the payments at the earliest,” a senior government official told Dawn, adding that the payables of the power producers working under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) have crossed Rs 230 billion (about $1.4 billion), and the Chinese investors had been agitating against this at the highest government level.
Meanwhile, the Chinese contractors of Dasu Hydropower Project, which is not part of the CPEC, have not resumed construction activities they had stopped more than two months ago after a terrorist attack, despite elaborate security cover provided by the Pakistan Army, the report said.
The official pointed out that Chinese contractors had also stopped working on the Mohmand Dam after a similar incident, but resumed work after almost a week of bilateral engagements.
The authorities have now planned to set up an Investment Facilitation Centre to offer ‘One Window Operation’ to all Chinese investors. The official said that 135 Chinese companies are operating in Pakistan on CPEC and other projects and top priority is now being accorded to regaining the trust of those working on CPEC schemes, the report added.
At the meeting of the Pakistan Senate standing committee on planning, Saleem Mandviwala, a former finance minister and now chairman of the committee, said that the Chinese are complaining that a flagship CPEC programme has been ruined over the past three years and many companies are unhappy.
Pakistan’s Planning Minister, Asad Umar, however, said at a press conference that the government has completed a major part of the CPEC and that politicians should talk about sensitive programmes with care.