Contrary to the high claims that the Pakistan government made on the generation of revenue from the Gwadar port, the port which is a part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will fetch the country, a very small proportion of the total generated revenue. Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Mir Hasil Bizenjo, on Saturday (November 25), disclosed to the Senate that 91 per cent of the revenues generated from the Gwadar port would go to China, while the Gwadar Port Authority would get 9 per cent share in the income for the next 40 years, as per a report by the Dawn. The minister also said that the agreement was based on a build-operate and transfer model spread over 40 years which means that Pakistan will take over the operation of the port along with the infrastructure to be built on it during the period to enhance the port’s cargo-handling capacity.
The Pakistan Senate, on Saturday, saw ministers expressing concern over the secrecy surrounding the CPEC long-term agreement plan, with many observing that the agreement tilted heavily in China’s favour. Senator Kalsoom Parveen of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) pointed out that the agreement had not been signed on the basis of equality. Another Senator, Mohsin Aziz of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf stressed that the business community must be involved in signing such business agreements, a task which, he claimed, should not be left to bureaucrats with no business savvy.
Coming to the defence of the agreement, Senator Javed Abbasi of the ruling PML-N stated that the power projects under the CPEC would alleviate Pakistan’s severe energy crisis. He pointed out that most of the power projects would be constructed in Balochistan and Sindh and the project would bring $56 billion investment into Pakistan. He further said that the CPEC would include infrastructure projects as well as industrial zones that would generate employment opportunities in the country.
Meanwhile, India has sent its first consignment of 7500 tonnes of Indian wheat to Afghanistan through the Iranian port of Chabahar. It must be noted that with the Chabahar port becoming operational, Pakistan’s exports to Afghanistan are speculated to substantially come down in the months following.