ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to increase the cost of projects being implemented under the umbrella of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) by one percent to finance on sustainable basis the expenditures to be incurred in the head of special security and the increase in cost will be reflected in the end consumers’ tariff.
The Ministry of Water and Power (MoWP), to this effect, is in the process of making the summary for the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet seeking approval for embedding one percent cost more in every project, to arrange financing for the current expenditures in the head of security.
Pakistan has already raised a Special Security Division (SSD) to ensure four-layer security of around 15,000 foreigners working on around 3,000-km-long trade route that will connect the Gwadar Port to China’s northwestern Xinjiang province. The projects under CPEC are to be provided and ensured the security as some influential countries are out to damage the project.
China and Pakistan agreed to raise a special force to ensure foolproof security to the CPEC sea routes and the Gwadar Port. This SSD consists of over 13,731 security personnel to safeguard around 9,000 Chinese workers engaged in over 330 small and mega projects in the country. In addition, Pakistan also deployed over 30,434 security personnel for successful execution of these multi-billion dollar projects under the CPEC.
“Yes, we are currently in process of making summary that will be placed before the ECC for approval of increasing every project’s cost by one percent, ” top official of the ministry told The News.
Under CPEC initiative, the power sector projects of $34 billion are being initiated and for their security, national exchequer is not strong enough to arrange the financing which is why this component has been included in the cost of the project that will be reflected in the tariff. Meanwhile, Private Power Infrastructure Board (PPIB) has suggested the ministry to raise the one percent increase in the cost of every project without approval of ECC as the provision of security expenditures in the power purchase agreement of each project is included, but this clause was not activated when the financial closure of many projects has achieved. Now the cost of those projects whose financial closures are finalised, will also be increased by one percent.
Since the Supreme Court’s verdict is vivid and crystal clear that, says that the prime minister himself is not authorised to make any financial decision unless he gets approval from the cabinet. Under this spirit, the ministry has decided to seek approval for increase of one per cent cost of the every project being implemented under $46 billion CPEC initiative.