By Muhammad Luqman
Pakistan has categorically rejected as baseless the claims that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project is always in the form of loans or non-concessional financing with sovereign guarantees.
“The total CPEC debt is about 4.9 billion dollars which is not even the ten percent of the country’s total debt,” Foreign Office spokesperson, Aisha Farooqui briefed the newsmen in the capital, Islamabad on Thursday.
The spokesperson said that the CPEC is a long term project negotiated through a multi-layered process. It has helped Pakistan to address development gaps in energy, infrastructure, industrialization and job creation.
Spokesperson stressed that it should be perceived in terms of enormous economic benefits for the people of Pakistan and social economic development. She said we believe it is also beneficial for regional connectivity and prosperity.
The spokesperson said Pakistan and China are all weather strategic cooperative partners. The CPEC is a transformational project for Pakistan and its expeditious completion is our top priority. In that regard , a CPEC authority has recently been established to oversee completion of the projects.
Aisha Farooqui said that twelve corridor related power projects have either been completed or are under construction with the total capacity of seven thousand two hundred and forty megawatts with an investment of 12.4 billion dollars. Another nine power projects are at an early stage with the capacity of six thousand three hundred and ninety megawatt. She pointed out that these energy projects contribute over fourteen percent of the total energy supplies in Pakistan. She said these projects have also paid about two hundred and fifty million dollars in taxes during the construction phase and have created over ten thousand jobs.
She said all countries are welcomed to invest in special economic zones of CPEC.
By Muhammad Luqman