Islamabad: Amid delays in payment to the IPPs, rising exchange rate, and "unhelpful behaviour of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) with its companies", Chinese companies in Pakistan opted for a "go-slow" policy, reported Business Recorder.

Chinese ambassador to Pakistan, Nong Rong, shared information during a meeting with Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Coordination Syed Tariq Fatemi.

Fatemi, in a letter to fellow cabinet colleagues, has informed that as a follow-up to the Inter-Ministerial Meeting (IMM), chaired by the Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives on Friday, 16 December 2022, the Chinese ambassador to Pakistan, called on him and discussed different issues, reported Business Recorder.

Tariq Fatemi apprised the ambassador that Pakistani authorities have already taken security measures in the Rashakai SEZ to ensure foolproof security arrangements for the Chinese nationals.

These measures were not meant to hamper any development progress, but to ensure the safety of the Chinese workers, reported Business Recorder.

He underlined that the relevant Pakistani authorities have taken appropriate measures to protect Chinese grant projects, from anti-dumping duties. If they continue to face any problems, this may be brought to the notice of the Planning Minister.

Fatemi also conveyed to the ambassador that Pakistan's Embassy in Beijing had been instructed to coordinate with the Chinese side on the issue of the establishment of an Energy Revolving Account, Business Recorder reported.

In response, the Chinese ambassador acknowledged that the Chinese companies have remained reluctant to progress due to delayed payments to IPPs, rising exchange rate and Nepra's "unhelpful behaviour towards the Chinese companies," reported Business Recorder.

Several projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor have been facing delays due to unresolved issues as the Pakistan government is not being able to resolve the impending matters which may deepen mistrust among Chinese investors.

The CPEC multi-billion-dollar economic cooperation had not been able to complete the projects over the last three years and to maintain the impetus that delivered a series of power plants and other infrastructure projects in the first phase of the CPEC implementation, reported Dawn.

Pakistan has flagged prolonged delays in five of its crucial power and rail projects with China during an important meeting discussing China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, media reports said.

Pakistan Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal expressed fears that any further delay would collapse the rail system in the country in one year and delay 3,100 megawatts of electricity generation, reported The Express Tribune.

The five projects that Islamabad has requested China to fast track the work on include -- USD 10 billion Mainline-I railway project, USD 1.2 billion Karachi Circular Railway project, USD 1.6 billion Azad Pattan hydropower project, USD 2.5 billion Kohala power project and USD 3 billion Thar Block-I coal project on priority, reported The Express Tribune quoting officials who attended the meeting.

At least 28 Chinese projects worth USD 18.8 billion are wrapped up however still USD 34 billion worth of schemes are yet to be completed.

It is pertinent to note that since China took the ML-I project in the CPEC fold, Pakistan Railways had not invested in the project. The discussion over issues faced by the Chinese independent power producers in CPEC projects was also the key takeaway of the meeting. (ANI)