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November 10, 2015
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China frets over slow pace of CPEC projects

Business

November 10, 2015

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KARACHI: Chinese government has expressed concern over the slow pace of works on the projects envisaged under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), sources said on Monday.
An official source, privy to the development, told The News that China is not content with the progress and, “has expressed concern over the bureaucratic hurdles facing the early harvest projects under CPEC.”
“Even the only early harvest solar project of 900 megawatts has run into serious difficulties,” the official said. “This could cast a shadow over the entire CPEC project.”
This world’s largest solar power project, situated in the Bahawalpur city of Punjab, has already commissioned 100MW, and yet its solar tariff is yet to be determined.
The sources said the 5th joint cooperation committee (JCC) of CPEC, scheduled to meet on November 10 (today) in Karachi, would primarily discuss problems faced by Chinese companies, especially in the power sector.
They said Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal, along with other officials from China and Pakistan, will attend the meeting.
The sources said several working groups, pertaining to security and tax related issues, will be formed at the JCC meeting. The solar tariff tops the meeting agenda, they added.
The official source said Pakistani side will take up the matter of prices, quoted by China Road and Bridge Corporation for Karakoram Highway project and there is a possibility that the National Highway Authority and China State Construction Engineering Corporation sign a contract for the Multan-Sukkur section.
“It is quite embracing for the government as it is not honouring the commitments especially in the energy sector,” the official said. “This situation is sending a bad message to the international community, which has already made major investments and is getting frustrated.”
The official further said, “What is the point of bringing more investors when

we cannot solve the problems of those who are already in Pakistan.”
One of the Chinese investors said their projects are facing problems and investors are highly frustrated because Pakistan’s government is not following its own policies.

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