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China stops funds for China-Pak economic corridor over corruption
Tuesday, December 5th, 2017 06:39 pm
BW News Webdesk: China has decided to temporarily stop funding of at least three major road projects in Pakistan, being built as part of the $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor or CPEC, following reports of corruption, a decision that has left officials in Islamabad “stunned”, a media report said today.
The decision by the Chinese government is likely hit over RS 1 trillion-worth road projects of the Pakistan’s National Highway Authority (NHA), and initially, may delay at least three such ventures, Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported.
According to a senior Pakistani government official, the funds would be released after Beijing issues ‘new guidelines’.
The nearly $50 billion CPEC, a flagship project of China’s prestigious One Belt One Road, passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir or PoK. It links China’s restive Xinjiang region with Balochistan.
The road projects that are likely to be affected include 210-km-long Dera Ismail Khan-Zhob Road, being built at an estimated cost of Rs. 81 billion. Of this, Rs. 66 billion would be spent on construction of road while Rs. 15 billion on land acquisition.
The other project which is going to be hit is 110-km-long Khuzdar-Basima Road in Balochistan, having an estimated cost of Rs. 19.76 billion.
The third project, valued at Rs. 8.5 billion, is the 136-km of Karakoram Highway (KKH) from Raikot in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to Thakot.
Originally, all the three projects were part of the Pakistan government’s own development programme, but in December 2016, Pakistan’s National Highway Authority spokesperson had announced that they would be included under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor umbrella so as to become eligible for concessionary finance from China.