China refutes report about Pakistan’s $40 bn debt

December 31, 2018 - 21:45

TEHRAN - China has strongly rejected media report that Pakistan would repay $40 billion in debt to China under the ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

Chinese embassy in Islamabad issued a statement, saying the figure of $40 billion is “wrong and misleading”.

The embassy said that the Chinese government provided concessional loans of $5.874 billion to Pakistan government’s major transportation infrastructure projects, with a composite interest rate of around 2 per cent in a repayment period of 20-25 years.

The embassy further said all the CPEC energy projects are investments in nature and the companies are responsible for their own profits and losses and repayment of loans.

The statement said that the Chinese government provided interest-free loans for Expressway East Bay in Gwadar and also provided grants for some livelihood projects. So, Pakistan will repay only $6.017 billion along with interest to China.

Earlier, a report in Express Tribune, citing documents of the ministry of planning and development, said debt repayments of energy and infrastructure projects amount to $28.43 billion, and $11.4 billion will be paid in the form of dividends to the investors.

Over the past 5 years, under CPEC, 11 projects have been completed and 11 projects are under construction. The total investment of the above 22 projects is around $18.9 billion. There are 20 more projects in the pipeline.

Being the largest and most comprehensive project under Belt and Road initiative, CPEC is of great political, economic and social significance to both China and Pakistan.

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