ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar has categorically said that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) related projects are transparent and carry no hidden debt.
Reacting to a recent report of an American think tank on CPEC at a news conference in Islamabad on Wednesday, he said that details about the corridor project have been shared on multiple occasions including at the level of Parliament. He added that there is also a Parliamentary oversight on this mega project.
The minister clarified that the Chinese debt is only 26 percent of the total external liabilities of Pakistan. He said that Pakistan has a debt servicing challenge which we are meeting but clarified that they do not have any problem with the Chinese debt.
Asad Umar said that the terms of debt financing for power projects executed under the CPEC is actually more favorable than the non-CPEC financing which had come in from other multilateral agencies.
The federal minister said that the loans which were taken by the government were also at the concessional rate of two percent. He said that China has also provided grants to execute different CPEC related projects. He said that a Vocational Training Institute has been established in Gwadar with the Chinese grant.
Asad Umar said that fake news are spread against the corridor project in order to spread despondency amongst the people and give a wrong impression to the world about Pakistan.
The minister for planning said that most of the projects under the CPEC have been completed in the stipulated period. He said that both Pakistan and China welcome investment from other Countries in this project, adding that Pakistan will support transforming this bilateral corridor into a regional corridor project.