Talks have begun between Pakistan and China to roll over $3 billion worth of CPEC debt and the countries have agreed to hold a much delayed 10th meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) of CPEC, said the aide to the prime minister Khalid Manzoor.
Earlier in May this year, Special Assistant to PM on Power and Petroleum Tabish Gohar in an interview said that in order to eliminate the need for increasing power tariff by Rs1.50 per unit, the government would request China to roll over nearly $3 billion in principal loan repayments to 12 Chinese independent power producers that were due in three years.
Khalid Manzoor while addressing his press conference said that talks with Chinese officials for the restructuring of debt of CPEC energy projects had begun.
The talks had just begun and were in their initial stages said another high official.
China has established 12 power plants under the CPEC banner and the repayment of this debt is included in the electricity tariffs and taxes.
Debt payments for the hydropower and other power projects of Kohala, Karot Suki Kinari, Port Qasim, Sahiwal, HUbco, and Engro are due.
In addition to the $3 billion in principal payments, the dividend payments also stand at $1.5 billion during the next three fiscal years.
According to the documents of the Planning and Development ministry of 2018, the inflows of the power projects are $19 billion against the expected outflows of $31 billion that accounts for both dividend and debt repayments which is 20 years.
However, after seven years of CPEC, only four fast-track projects have been completed while work on the remaining six was underway.
The federal government blames Covid-19 for the slow progress on CPEC projects but analysts said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has pushed CPEC on the backburner as a policy.
Manzoor said that a total of $25 billion worth of investments had been made under CPEC so far and out of that $13 billion worth of projects had already been completed.
The SAPM said that the remaining $12 billion would be allocated in the coming year adding that he had been trying to resolve the issues faced by the Chinese investors. He said that Chinese companies had made $845 million in investment in the past three years.