Pakistan and China have begun talks on a $ 3 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) debt restructuring, and have agreed to hold a meeting of the CPEC Strategy Committee, Chairman of CPEC Authority Khalid Mansoor said on Monday.

The reported delay in convening the 10th meeting of the joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) of CPEC and Pakistan’s concerns over future debts for energy projects in the CPEC were signals that the government is less concerned with this multibillion-dollar strategic initiative.

To change the debt structure of the CPEC energy projects, “negotiations have begun with the Chinese authorities on a win-win situation,” Khaled Mansoor, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for CPEC, said in a speech at the first press conference.

He stressed that Pakistan is committed to paying for Chinese investments in energy projects. As per the sources, debt restructuring negotiations are at a very preliminary stage and there is no significant development on the same.

China has built 12 power plants under CPEC, and China’s debt payments are included in electricity prices. Consumers pay them in rupees and the government returns them in dollars.

Debts scheduled to be paid include Kohala hydroelectric power plant, Karot hydroelectric power station, the Suki-Kinari energy project, the Qasim port energy project, the Sahiwal power plant, the Hubco power plant, the Engro Power project and others.

In addition to paying out $ 3 billion in Principal Repayments, the dividend payments are also expected at $ 1.5 billion over the next three fiscal years.

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