Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Pakistan has officially asked China to shelve a joint US$2 billion coal power project from the US$62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) infrastructure project, claiming it will be too expensive and should not be an immediate priority.
Pakistan is confronting a balance of payments crisis caused by the rupee losing 25 per cent of its value against the US dollar in 2018 after the US cut off billions of dollars of annual US aid in 2017. To make up for the shortfall, Khan's government has approached Saudi Arabia, China, Abu Dhabi and the International Monetary Fund for help. Beijing has reportedly pledged to lend Islamabad US$4 billion.
"Pakistan at the moment is interested in liquid cash instead of investment due to the balance of payment issue and Khan's government is interested in cash in return for shelved Chinese power projects," said Qamar Cheema, a political analyst based in Islamabad.
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