Khalid Mansoor: Government in talks with China over US$3 billion
Islamabad: Pakistan government is in talks with the Chinese government regarding the US$3 billion invested in China-Pakistan economic corridor.
This was stated by the SAPM on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Khalid Mansoor, on Monday, in response to a question.
He said that repayment of US$3 billion to China is becoming due. Asked whether Pakistani authorities have taken up the issues with Chinese, he said: This is a “sensitive topic” and it was being taken up very effectively to try and find out a win-win situation.
“Chinese companies have made $845 million investment in Allama Iqbal Industrial Zone, Faisalabad, during the last three years,” he said.
Mansoor further said that Pakistan has to make payment of Chinese investment because the Chinese companies, whose projects have already been completed, have to declare dividend.
He added that so far, $25 billion investment was made in Pakistan under the CPEC projects, adding that $12 billion projects are at completion stage and they would be fully completed within a year. The first stage of the CPEC is at the completion stage and it was entering into phase-II, he added.
To another question, the SAPM said that relevant departments/agencies are closely monitoring the fallout of the Afghanistan situation, as well as, its impacts.
He said that the CPEC projects are the responsibility of the army, and the army has created two divisions to provide security to the Chinese working on the CPEC projects.
He added that certainly security was a concern for the Chinese and to boost their confidence he himself visited Gawdar after recent attacks on the Chinese working on the CPEC projects in Pakistan, and received briefing on security and subsequently, a detailed briefing on additional security measures was given to the Chinese Embassy. “And now, date of Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) has been decided and it would be held on 23rd or 24th of September.”
About the allegation that previous government has taken kickbacks on the CPEC projects, he recounted personal experiences and stated that he was directly involved in $5 billion investment in this CPEC project, while working in Hubco, etc. “I can say on oath that I was never asked for kickbacks and not given any penny to anyone.”
He said that the government had announced upfront tariff and offered incentives for investment in the power sector. He said he can state with confidence that he had not seen such a thing.
About the significance of the briefing, he said that the Chinese investors making $845 million investment in various projects in Allama Iqbal Industrial City met with the Prime Minister to inform him about their projects.
He said economic activities in some of the SEZs have already been started. In Allama Iqbal Industrial City, investment of eight Chinese companies was in the final stage.
He said that during the last three years, Chinese companies have made investment of 845 million. He said this investment was made in pre-fabricated homes, transport two-wheel and three-wheel electric vehicles, LED lights, ceramics tiles, liquid and solid detergents, and agriculture sector, as well as, manufacturing of mobile phones, and making of track suit, etc.
He said that general impression was that the investment is now coming into the country and Gwadar port is up and running, and now the CPEC is entering the phase-II and the government’s priority is that one SEZ in each province would be provided plug-and-play execution environment.
“We are in full preparation with coordination with the Chinese embassy, and creating one-window operation in the CPEC Authority. There would be multiple sectors in phase-II and issues of existing investors would be resolved.
Replying to a question, he said that after assuming office, he prepared an action plan for all those projects which have either been slowed down or delayed and all the political parties have provided cooperation. “We have an eye on all the projects facing delay,” he added.