Caretaker governments are in power in Pakistan, but they, along with the permanent bureaucracy, continue to keep the CPEC train chugging along.

Last week, Balochistan Chief Minister Alauddin Marri led a business forum in Quetta that brought together Chinese business leaders and diplomats.

And this Tuesday, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Pakistan’s federal caretaker finance minister, chaired the 55th CPEC progress review meeting.

“We will continue to ensure that all projects of CPEC are completed according to the agreed terms and within the stipulated timelines.”

Shamshad Akhtar, caretaker finance minister

The caretaker finance minister expressed concern about the slow pace of CPEC special economic zones, according to The Express Tribune. Three of Pakistan’s four provinces are unwilling to provide SEZ investors with subsidized loans and land at concessionary rates.

Akhtar also disclosed some important details on CPEC projects in play. According to DAWN, she said that 22 projects totaling $28.6 in cost are in the implementation stage. These include 15 energy projects totaling $22 billion in cost.

Akhtar said that while the caretaker government will not make decisions impacting CPEC in the long-term, it will, however, review the project’s financials and make recommendations for the government that will assume power after the July elections.

Attendees of the review meeting included Chinese ambassador Yao Jing, officials from Chinese companies, and bureaucrats from Pakistan’s Board of Investment and various federal ministries, including energy, planning, and railways.

Posted by Arif Rafiq

Arif Rafiq is the editor of CPEC Wire. He is a non-resident fellow at the Middle East Institute and president of Vizier Consulting, LLC, a political risk advisory company. Rafiq authored the first comprehensive public study on CPEC, "The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor: Barriers and Impact," published by the U.S. Institute of Peace. He can be reached via email at contactarifrafiq@gmail.com.

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