China shuts 1,980 MW production capacity in Pakistan

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Pakistan’s Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal has passed instructions to the concerned officials to begin the process for abolishing the authority…reports Asian Lite News

 The new Pakistan government has decided to abolish the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority amid disclosure that Chinese power producers have shut down 1,980 MW production capacity due to non-clearance of their Rs 300 billion dues, The Express Tribune reported.

Pakistan’s Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal has passed instructions to the concerned officials to begin the process for abolishing the authority.

“We will move a summary seeking Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s approval to abolish the CPEC Authority,” Iqbal confirmed to The Express Tribune.

“It is a redundant organisation with a huge waste of resources, which thwarted speedy implementation of the CPEC,” said the minister.

The decision to wind up the CPEC Authority is in line with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s old policy that was never in favour of establishing a parallel setup.

Even the PTI government took over two years to set up the authority but it largely remained dormant as the last political dispensation was not in favour of having another bureaucratic structure.

The last PTI government had reluctantly enacted the CPEC Authority Act in May 2021, but it never filled the chairman’s position after former chairman Asim Saleem Bajwa resigned.

Planning Minister Iqbal on Wednesday took his government’s first briefing on the state of CPEC affairs and the same officials who in the past used to defend CPEC progress told the new regime how things were bad on the ground.

It was revealed during the meeting that over 37 per cent of the installed capacity of the CPEC power projects, or 1,980 MW, was out of order due to non-payment of dues to Chinese investors.

The meeting was informed that total receivables of the 10 Chinese IPPs have shot up to Rs 300 billion, out of which the overdue amount was Rs 270 billion.

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