CPEC projects in Pakistan stuck due to financial crisis: Report
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CPEC projects in Pakistan stuck due to financial crisis: Report

The $50-billion worth China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is understood to have hit a roadblock with many of its projects getting stuck due to a financial crisis at the country’s National Highway Authority, according to a media report.

world Updated: Jul 23, 2018 22:53 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Islamabad
CPEC,Pakistan,financial crisis
CPEC aims to connect Xinjiang in China with Pakistan’s Gwadar port in Balochistan (pictured), allowing Beijing access to the Arabian Sea.(Reuters/File Photo)

A number of road projects related to the $52 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) are said to be in the doldrums as Pakistan’s National Highway Authority (NHA) faces a financial crisis, a media report said on Monday.

Contractors have stopped work on several CPEC projects after their cheques worth over Rs5 billion had bounced a couple of days ago, the Daily Dawn newspaper reported.

It is for the first time that CPEC projects faced such a situation because of financial reasons, the report said.

The projects that have been hit by the situation include Hakla-Dera Ismail Khan, Western Route of CPEC and all sections of the Karachi-Lahore Motorway (KLM). Seven portions of Hakla-DIK highway measuring 400km roads and all projects of the KLM have been affected.

Not only the CPEC, projects but local industries related to construction and a large workforce of engineers and labourers have also been hit by the situation.When contacted, NHA spokesman Kashif Zaman said the authority issued cheques of Rs 5bn on June 29 to the firms against the sanction by the government. He said cheques worth Rs1.5bn were cleared on the same day and “the remaining cheques that were deposited the next day could not be cleared.” Zaman said the matter had been taken up with the government and hopefully it would be resolved soon.

When asked about suspension of work by the contractors, he said: “The progress on the project had not been affected. Same is true for Hazara Motorway and other sections.” He said most of the projects in question would be completed by December 2018. Despite the official denial, it was feared that the CPEC projects would be delayed further if the situation persists, the report said.

First Published: Jul 23, 2018 19:29 IST