Chinese power plants in Pak may shut down

Islamabad: With more than 300 billion PKR in stuck-up dues, more than two dozen Chinese firms operating in Pakistan said that they will be forced to shut down their power plants this month unless payments are made upfront, the media reported.

This revelation came at a meeting presided over by Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal with more than 30 Chinese companies operating under the flagship multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in various areas including energy, communication, railways, and others, reports Dawn news.

There were a plethora of complaints, including those relating to complex visa procedures for Chinese executives, taxation, and so on, but there were also counter complaints from the Pakistani side as well, on delayed responses to their communications, informed sources told Dawn.

About 25 representatives from Chinese independent power producers (IPPs) spoke one after the other and complained about the build-up of their dues and warned that without upfront payments they would shut down within days.

They said the authorities were pressuring them to maximize generation to meet peak summer needs, but “this is impossible for us in view of serious liquidity issues”, the report said.

They complained that fuel prices, particularly that of coal, had gone up by three to four times, which meant they should at least be given three to four times greater liquidity to make fuel arrangements.

Some of them said that while payments against power already supplied were not forthcoming and they had been financially handicapped due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the tax authorities had started taxing them at higher rates.

Image courtesy of (Photo courtesy: tribune.com.pk)

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