Political strife is turning into confrontation. Payment problems hitting important developmental projects. Concerns of Chinese lenders should be removed.

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(March 21, 2022)

Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said the current political conflict is turning into a confrontation which will adversely affect the society and economy.

Political differences should not result in a hostile attitude as all parties should show sportsman spirit in the national interest lest it damages society and the fragile economy, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that problems in CPEC projects are increasing which is worrisome.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that some projects were already plagued by foreign conspiracies and security issues, and now the payments crisis has started damaging critical projects.

Obstacles in the CPEC are unendurable as billions of dollars have been spent on it and its speedy completion is in the interest of Pakistan and China, he added.

Due to delayed payments to IPPs and other problems, work on three hundred MW power plants located in Gwadar has been stopped, which is a blow.

The decision to complete this important power project in Gwadar on a priority basis was taken in 2014 but is still pending while the government does not have the resources to make the payments, he observed.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that most of the projects in Pakistan are planned on the basis of aspirations and politics without proper planning, realistic feasibility reports and loan repayment procedures, which leads to loss instead of profit.

Lenders do not take much interest in the monitoring of loans to curb the wastage of resources which results in public outcry and losses leaving the country more indebted.

The business leader said that coal-based power projects, metro bus, Orange Line and many other projects have brought a pleasant change in the lives of the people and the soft image of Pakistan has improved.

The present government could not build mega projects due to poor governance, financial issues and opposition by the IMF, and work on Multan-Hyderabad Motorway could not be started even in three years.

The government should take note of the current economic situation and abide by agreements for projects under CPEC and create a mechanism for payments that would be acceptable to Chinese lenders and companies, he demanded.

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