Asad Umar, the Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Initial Initiatives, stated on Wednesday that the world’s attention is focused on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and that the adversary wants to destroy Pakistan.
“Misconceptions are being disseminated over the transparency of CPEC projects, debt sustainability, and hidden loans,” Umar said during a joint news conference flanked by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on CPEC Khalid Mansoor.
He added, in response to a recent study by a US research group, that “China has assisted several CPEC projects by giving loans to Pakistan,” adding that the loans were provided with a lower markup than loans acquired from other nations.
According to the federal minister, foreign financial institutions provided 74% of external loans.
Denying all rumours about high-cost Chinese loans, the minister pointed out that electricity projects under the CPEC have an average interest rate of 4%, while the cumulative interest rate on other Chinese loans is 4.25 percent.
The government had provided all the information of the loans connected to CPEC with the International Monetary Fund, according to Umar (IMF).
According to the federal minister, erroneous information leads to confusion, and “the cause for the growth in the current account deficit is not Chinese loans,” since China has offered numerous funds for various CPEC projects.
Umar said that foreign media is disseminating “incorrect information on CPEC” and asked local journalists to examine foreign news rather than transmitting them “without appropriate verification and understanding.”
“The IMF is a part of the initiative, and all data about the CPEC projects are available.”
“The IMF is a part of the programme and all details regarding the projects under CPEC have been shared in the Parliament as well,” he said.