The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been poorly planned. The “constant changes” in the power projects to be constructed under CPEC send a signal to the investors that Pakistan is a “high-risk” country and dampen their “enthusiasm”, according to an editorial in the Dawn.
The editorial cites latest reports that two more project under CPEC may have been hit due to “reservation” about the use of imported coal. The projects include a 660MW power project, which has been shunted, and the other project in which sponsors have been asked to find foreign financing and shift to local coal. While these changes have put a “question mark” over the entire project, the government of Pakistan is all set to commission an imported LNG-based 1200 MW power plant, says Dawn.
The editorial highlights that frequent changes have shown how the biggest energy sector project in Pakistan has not been properly planned. “Given these frequent changes, it is becoming clear that foresight and planning were missing from the launch of one of the biggest series of energy-sector investments ever in this country’s history.”
It further says that “the way the government is changing its mind in the middle of the project timelines sends a signal to investors that Pakistan remains a high-risk country, and dampens investor enthusiasm further.”
Earlier on October 31, China and Pakistan kicked off first trade activities under the CPEC project. Over a hundred Chinese containers arrived at the Sust (a village in Hunza. It is also the last town in Pakistan before the Chinese border) port, Dawn reported. The containers left for Gwadar after the custom clearance. The ceremony was attended by Chinese officials as well as Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Hafeezur Rehman and the Force Commander of Gilgit-Baltistan, Saqib Mahmud Malik.