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Pakistan Decides To Shelve Major CPEC Power Project

A leading business tycoon had proposed the project and was expected to be one of its key sponsors

The Pakistan government has decided to shelve a major power project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that was pushed by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s regime, the media reported on Monday.

Background discussions with government officials suggest that Islamabad has officially conveyed to Beijing that it was no more interested in the 1,320MW Rahim Yar Khan power project in view of sufficient generation capacity already lined up for the next few years, Dawn news reported.

It has requested China to formally delete the project from the CPEC list.

During the 8th Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting held last month, a Pakistani delegation led by Minister for Planning and Development Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar “proposed to remove the Rahim Yar Khan imported fuel power plant (1,320MW) from the CPEC list, in order to provide structure optimisation space for the subsequent power market of Pakistan”, a government official said.

Imran Khan, Sikh
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan is seen during talks in Beijing, China. VOA

The project was originally pushed as an imported coal-based plant by Quaid-i-Azam Thermal Company of the Punjab government led by former Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

A leading business tycoon had proposed the project and was expected to be one of its key sponsors.

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The official said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government has also decided to remove almost 400 “politically motivated” Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) projects as part of a comprehensive mid-year review later this month.

“We are reviewing all such schemes in detail; we do not want to waste public funds where lien has been created or sufficient progress achieved, but we definitely don’t like to throw good money after bad,” a cabinet member told Dawn. (IANS)

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