Western media’s CPEC report based on ‘distorted facts’: ministry

Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform has clarified a news article carried by some sections of international media titled ‘IMF won’t stop China from turning Pakistan into next Sri Lanka’.

“The article is based on incorrect data and distorted facts,” the ministry said in a statement issued on Friday.

“The writer needs to know that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative. CPEC financing comprises of government-to-government loans, private investment and grants. To date, 22 projects worth $28 billion are in various stages of implementation, of which $22 billion worth are private sector energy projects.

“The Pakistani government’s financial liability is only to the tune of $5.8 billion comprising of low interest loans and grants in infrastructure projects spread over 20 to 25 years payback period. The energy projects are being executed purely in the independent power producers (IPPs) mode and finances are mainly taken by the private companies against their own balance sheets.

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“Therefore, debt would be borne by the investors instead of any obligation on part of the Pakistani government. The impression of debt burden falling on the Government of Pakistan is based on incorrect analysis.”

As per the ministry, the article’s claim that “CPEC will add to corruption” clearly depicts the writer is not aware that the second phase of CPEC is focused on industrial cooperation (B2B JVs), socio-economic development and agriculture cooperation, directed towards poverty alleviation of less developed areas of Pakistan based on pragmatic planning and due diligence on both sides.

“Comparing cooperation with China through CPEC, with any other country, is unrealistic as it has facilitated in overcoming crucial energy, transport infrastructure and supply chain bottlenecks. Under CPEC, development of Gwadar (mostly through grant/interest free loans) projects would ensure strengthening of maritime sector. The development of Gwadar port project is on BOT mode and cannot be compared with any port project being developed on foreign funding/loans.

“Gwadar continues as high priority and is being developed as a standalone project as well as a transshipment hub based on blue economy principles.

All in all, CPEC is acting as a stimulus to the economic growth of Pakistan. The false narrative of a “debt trap” is not based on the ground realities.”

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  1. Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform must reform itself first before pointing an accusing finger at the ‘biased’ Western media giving out ‘ distorted facts’. So why doesn’t the Ministry give us the undistorted facts?

    To begin with, the Ministry should start telling the whole truth in an open and transparent manner. You cannot contain criticism if the CPEC details are kept under wraps or warped propaganda.

    For any one to inquire about how CPEC is going to benefit Pakistan is either considered as unwanted or biased western-media -oriented criticism , or outright unpatriotic. This unprofessional approach is neither mature, nor objective , nor helpful to construct a positive image of CPEC Pakistan.

    Contradictory and conflicting reports thrive only in an atmosphere of secrecy about the details of CPEC Pakistan. The Ministry failed to mention that the total size of CPEC Pakistan. Again, relying on reports, CPEC Pak is about $60 billion. The Ministry projects. $22 billion out of $28 billion are power projects. That means 80% of the current projects are IPPs. Obviously, the questions arise as to how many of these IPPs are Pakistani investors? At what rate will they supply electricity to the industrial and domestic consumers? Will cheap power be available for rapid industrialization and agricultural development ?

    The Ministry also claims that the so-called ‘blue economy’ will act as a stimulus to the overall economy. So what would be the ratio of the blue economy to the black economy?

    Recently the estimates about the results of Asset Amnesty Scheme show only a fraction of the black economy the assets worth PKR 3 trillion were ‘whitened’

    Will the Ministry give us the pertinent facts about how much will the size/value of the ‘blue economy’ and what will be the numbers of value addition to industry and agriculture to the Pakistan economy over the next years?

    You can bet the Ministry has not even bothered to work on the real numbers related to economic، social and employment benefits and impact of the CPEC power and infrastructure projects on the national GDP of Pakistan.

    To prove me wrong, let the Ministry must provide the factual numbers about the impact of CPEC on the socio-economic growth and development of Pakistan. Let the facts speak out for themselves. Rejoinders and rebuttals will not convince anyone. Pakistanis are not stupid.

  2. Without accountability & transparency or pro-active feedback with black & white results of return on capital, it is to be expected that doubts would be raised in this corruption swamp of anational environment.

    Hurling incontrovertible truth against falsehood is the only answer.

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