IPPs ordered to submit due payments in context of CPEC energy projects

Islamabad: Pakistani Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal held a meeting of the first Cabinet Committee on Chinese Investment Projects to discuss several important issues.

The meeting was attended by Minister of Science and Technology Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Secretary Planning Awais Manzoor Sumra, and senior officials from different federal ministries.

The meeting deliberated on the overdue issues concerning the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Independent Power Producers (IPPs), which pose a significant impediment to the financial closure of key projects, said an official statement.

Ahsan Iqbal instructed the IPPs to submit the amounts due to them in the context of CPEC energy projects as soon as possible.

He stressed on the significance of providing electricity to the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) at an incentivized cost while ensuring the government does not incur losses. He directed the involvement of the Board of Directors to expedite the resolution of SEZ-related problems.

A directive was issued to conduct a comparative study on the incentives offered to SEZs in regional nations to ascertain how Pakistan’s SEZs and Export Processing Groups can be made more attractive.

He also instructed the Board of Investment and Ministry of Commerce to explore the creation of export processing zones to attract industries from China to Pakistan, identifying potential products for relocation.

The Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Information Technology, Ministry of Petroleum, Ministry of Commerce, and Ministry of Manpower were tasked with preparing a Request for Proposal outlining steps to boost Pakistan’s exports from US $ 30 billion to US $100 billion within the next seven years.

The focus was on developing a strategy to achieve an export surplus to meet both local and global demands. Strategies to ensure the security of Chinese nationals in Pakistan also came under discussion, emphasizing the need for community awareness regarding their contributions to the development of Pakistan.

Ahsan Iqbal emphasized that security measures should instil confidence rather than fear. He underscored the significance of employing modern technology, akin to developed countries, to monitor the activities of non-state actors and anti-national elements.