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Chinese assistance for economic corridor not loans: Ahsan Iqbal

Chinese assistance for economic corridor not loans: Ahsan Iqbal

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal has said that the Chinese assistance to Pakistan under ‘China Pakistan Economic Corridor’ was not loans but foreign direct investment (FDI).

“Today there is a mad race among all countries to attract maximum FDI for higher growth rates. Energy projects with Chinese assistance were a source of oxygen for our economy, which will not only push growth rate of economy upwards by solving energy crisis but also help create millions of new jobs,” he said while rebutting Imran Khan’s allegations about loan taking.

He said that government was not taking loans from China at 7 percent interest and allegations were baseless.

Ahsan Iqbal, who is also the head of China Pakistan Economic Corridor Joint Coordination Committee from Pakistani side, strongly condemned Imran Khan’s baseless allegations against Chinese assistance to Pakistan under ‘China Pakistan Economic Corridor’ and sought an immediate apology from him.

He said, “Pakistan and China are close friends and enjoy time tested all weather friendship. At a time when international investors were flying from Pakistan due to security environment in the region, decision of Chinese and Pakistani leadership during PM Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Beijing in July 13 to take Pak-China relations to new heights in economic field through China Pakistan Economic Corridor Project was a milestone”.

“The commitment of Chinese government to help Pakistan overcome its energy shortages through energy projects is a proof that friend in need is friend indeed. All 10,400 MW coal, Hydel, solar, and wind based energy projects,” he added.

He said, “It is not expected from a leader of the stature of Khan, whose party is ruling KPK province that he would show such immaturity and irresponsibility. Khan has alleged that these loans are being taken at 7 percent interest, which is incorrect as these projects are not loans but coming as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the country”.

Moreover, he said that Pakistan and China are bound in strongest bond of friendship, which is beyond political divide, and people of Pakistan are indebted to Chinese leadership for showing strong commitment to help Pakistan overcome energy crisis.