Power consumers to pay for CPEC security

Published: September 24, 2016
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PHOTO: FACEBOOK

ISLAMABAD: Irrespective of his income level, every electricity consumer of the country will pay an amount for the security of the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet decided on Friday.

“The ECC approved a summary of the Ministry of Water and Power for issuance of a policy directive to Nepra [National Electric Power Regulatory Authority] to allow 1% of the capital cost (of the project) on account of [CPEC’s] security,” announced Finance Ministry Ishaq Dar after chairing the ECC meeting.

Pakistan aware of hostility towards CPEC

The Ministry of Water and Power’s summary was not part of the official agenda of the ECC, issued on Thursday. Bringing matters that are not part of the agenda on the meeting forum is said to be in violation of Rules of Business of 1973. The chair can allow tabling such summaries only in exceptional matters but this has become a norm, said an official of the Cabinet Division on condition of anonymity.

After the ECC decision, 1% additional cost on account of the CPEC security will be built in the total capital cost of ongoing and upcoming energy projects. The Water and Power Ministry will direct Nepra to make this 1% cost part of tariff determination, which will eventually be recovered from power consumers.

“The amount will be distributed annually starting from the construction period till the term of the Power Purchase Agreement,” said the Finance Ministry. The recovered amount will be paid to the federal government that will pass it on to the military to meet the security expenses of the CPEC, according to a Finance Ministry official.

“In case of new projects, the 1% cost will be built in the total cost while in case of under implementation projects, the cost will be included as ‘variable charges’,” said the official.

There was an official move to seek Chinese financial assistance to meet expenses on CPEC security but they did not agree, said sources in Ministry of Planning and Development. However, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal denied that Pakistan asked China to foot the security bill.

CPEC: Chinese work ethic and its implication for Pakistan

“Providing security is our responsibility. They [Chinese] are working in our country,” said Defence Minister Khawaja Asif.

The electricity consumers are already paying various kinds of charges like Neelum Jehlum power project surcharge, Pakistan Television Fee, circular debt interest payment surcharge and power cost recovery surcharge.

The decision came two days after Dar met with army chief General Raheel Sharif to discuss the issues of CPEC security and related expenditures.

Pakistan has decided to raise two special security divisions for the protection of the CPEC –an umbrella project of $46 billion that will link China’s hinterlands with Gwadar –the deep-sea port on Arabian Sea.

Pakistan aware of hostility towards CPEC

The CPEC success is contingent upon the provision of secure environment amid growing challenges posed by arch rival India. On August 31, the army chief announced to set up a second Special Security Division, to be called South SSD that would provide security from Rawalpindi to Gwadar. The first North SSD would ensure CPEC security from Khunjrab to Rawalpindi besides assisting the stakeholders, including provinces, in matters relating to the CPEC.

The ECC also allowed Habib Bank Limited to open a bank branch in Urumqi area of China, as increasing economic cooperation is creating more business opportunities.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • shafi
    Sep 24, 2016 - 10:08AM

    so suction of common pak man started, ever the leader will pay tax too or will deposit their money in Panama?Recommend

  • WTF
    Sep 24, 2016 - 10:22AM

    Why doesnt Ishaq Dollar & Nawaz (anything but Sharif) pay from their own pocket. If Sanity had prevailed, this would have been covered by reducing unneccessary and out of budget spendings. Mr. Nawaz!! Stop misusing soverign funds for your pleasure. Stop taking your grand children and family members on official trips. Curb your lavish foriegn tours and you would have enough funds to pay for CPEC security from Government Treasury.Recommend

  • Zaki
    Sep 24, 2016 - 10:31AM

    Why doesn’t Ishaq Dollar & Nawaz (anything but Sharif) pay from their own pocket. If Sanity had prevailed, this would have been covered by reducing unnecessary and out of budget spending. Mr. Nawaz!! Stop misusing sovereign funds for your pleasure. Stop taking your grand children and family members on official trips. Curb your lavish foreign tours and you would have enough funds to pay for CPEC security from Government Treasury.Recommend

  • whatever
    Sep 24, 2016 - 11:12AM

    “There was an official move to seek Chinese financial assistance to meet expenses on CPEC security but they did not agree”.. you can’t expect Chinese will give you aid like USA, now start learning to pay your bills by your own money. But still You can sing iron brother and higher than Himalaya..songs.Recommend

  • SB
    Sep 24, 2016 - 12:52PM

    Ordinary Pakistani needs to pay royalti fee to China .. in the pretext of CPEC securityRecommend

  • SB
    Sep 24, 2016 - 2:01PM

    What a project management..Pakistan even does not have fund to protect a a game changer project like CPEC. F16 case was different as huge sum was involvedRecommend

  • Rex Minor
    Sep 24, 2016 - 3:43PM

    Providing security is our responsibility. They [Chinese] are working in our country,” said Defence Minister Khawaja Asif.

    Since when does a defense minister reckons that he is responsible for security in the land?

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • AR KHAN
    Sep 24, 2016 - 3:49PM

    Jaisay log waisay hukumraan (As the people so will be the rulers). We are actually cutting what we sowed and still sowing.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Sep 24, 2016 - 5:35PM

    Every Tom and Jerry wants to eat CPEC pie and take it to his home too but when it comes to pay the bill, then let’s abuse Mian Sahib because he ordered it. Security expense is a very small issue. This project is going to have so many expenses that we would be paying it through our noses. Recommend

  • Abhijeet
    Sep 24, 2016 - 6:57PM

    Chinese are working in your country.. but for whom? Themselves or Pakistan? Spanish train maker Tango transported and carried out trial runs in India entirely at their expense. India didn’t pay a penny. Pakistan had negotiated a bad deal. The people will have to pay for a project they don’t even understand. Recommend

  • Biased individual
    Sep 24, 2016 - 7:30PM

    Slowly, but surely, the details of CPEC and the reason why the contract was never revealed is coming out. A commercial deal between two countries was hidden citing national security as reason. Expect more such revelations.Recommend

  • Marcos
    Sep 24, 2016 - 9:08PM

    HahahahaRecommend

  • ajeet
    Sep 25, 2016 - 8:14AM

    This is the result of project management by mullahs who are only fit to work on abattoir. No baniya, no profit and the Chinese will laugh all the way to the bank.. Recommend

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