Senate body questions Rs22 billion special fund for CPEC projects

ISLAMABAD: A Special Senate Panel on Monday questioned the creation of a Rs22 billion power sector revolving fund as a special arrangement to make preferred payments to power producers and investors under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Senator Shibli Faraz of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, who heads a special senate committee on circular debt, said he was not against CPEC but wondered whether it was discriminatory to open up another head to the circular debt by ensuring 22 per cent payments to these projects for which the government would need commercial borrowing.

Zargham Eshaq Khan, Joint Secretary Power Division, agreed that this would be a commercial borrowing at Kibor plus 4pc rate but there was nothing his division could do except to execute the government-to-government agreement between China and Pakistan under CPEC that entailed such a requirement.

Published in Dawn, 7th August, 2018