Pakistan's Circular Debt for Chinese Independent Power Producers Increases

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The current circular debt owned for Chinese Independent Power Producers (IPPs) has jumped to Pakistani Rupees (PKR) 350 billion with increasing demands to clear the backlog, The News International reported.

During a China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) review meeting held on Friday, it was announced, “The outstanding backlog of Chinese IPPs stands at Rs350 billion, which is being accounted at the rate of 14 per cent while the remaining 86 per cent is being paid regularly. The CPPAG stated that it will be further improved.”

Pakistan’s Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal chaired the meeting and discussed progress on Special Economic Zones, ML-1, KCR and several new development initiatives to be discussed by the Joint Working Groups (JWGs), as per the news report.

Citing sources, the report said without making any substantial progress towards finalizing the financing plan for the construction of the much-awaited ML-1 project, the CPEC progress review committee was informed that the Chinese side was working on the financial mechanism for this multi-billion-dollar project.

“A Joint Financial Committee meeting on ML-1 is expected during the ongoing month to finalise the terms and kick-start the Package-1 of ML-1,” The News International quoted top official sources as saying in the meeting.

During the meeting, the Chinese side called on Pakistan to share the updated feasibility study of the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) as the feasibility study conducted in 2017 has become outdated. The Sindh government was asked to share the Karachi Circular Railway updated feasibility study.

Ahsan Iqbal stressed the importance of increasing Pakistan’s exports and directed following up on the PM’s proposal to China to attach its officials to help create Islamabad’s export sector during his visit to China. He said the top priority of the government’s 5Es agenda was to increase exports, and Pakistan could benefit from Chinese expertise in this regard, according to The News International report.

During the meeting, the updated status of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) was also discussed wherein the minister ordered making the SEZs a medium to enhance exports. He said SEZs could develop collaboration and innovation, which could result in the development of new products and services better suited to the demands of international markets, as per the news report.

The meeting also discussed proposals for the upcoming Joint Working Group (JWG), including Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Solar Projects and identification study of pumped storage hydropower projects. Ahsan ordered the authorities to review all matrix and present progress updates as well as discussed ML-1 and KCR projects.

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