Under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Pakistan is looking for $8 billion investment from China and Saudi Arabia. The investment will be done on the road, energy and oil sectors.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has decided to open investment corridor for countries that are either part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) or on cordial terms with Pakistan or China.
Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar while speaking at a meeting of the Senate’s Special Committee on CPEC said that initially, the priorities set for CPEC were not appropriate. The meeting was chaired by Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Senator Sherry Rehman.
Planning Ministry officials also revealed that CPEC’s western route was not funded by China as was declared in earlier public statements.
To a query, the Minister said that CPEC has been reprioritized by the government. The government has decided to launch two new hydropower projects. The cost of these project along with the 700-megawatt (MW) Azad Pattan hydropower project will be around 1.4 billion while the 640-MW Mahl hydropower project cost will be around $1.2 billion. Both the projects are initiated in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The project director of CPEC said, “The western route projects are not funded by China under CPEC.”
Senator Usman Kakar said that the western route would have been given preference if the national interest was important. He clearly stated that eastern route was picked because the previous government was interested in Punjab-centric construction & development.
To another question, the planning minister said that an oil refinery can be set up in Gwadar via investment by Saudi Arabia under CPEC. But it’s too early to say whether a memorandum of understanding (MoU) will be signed between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia on Imran Khan’s Tuesday visit to Jeddah or not.
On Orange Line Metro project Bakhtiar said, “The Orange Line Metro project and two eastern route roads should not have been in the first implementation phase of CPEC.”