Chief Editor: Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

CPEC: The facts and figures about ongoing projects

DNA 05-24

ISLAMABAD, SEPT 05 (DNA) – 1. 91% of the income from Gwadar Port goes to the Chinese and 9% to Pakistan 2. Chinese companies get preferential treatment and tax exemptions (making it impossible for local companies to compete and opens the Pakistani market for a commercial invasion) 3. Money for the road network comes from Pakistan (so we’re paying for the roads China will use to export stuff to us and the world) 4. Of the original $50b, over $30b was loans to build power plants for which we’ll pay a) interest to Chinese banks b) exorbitant profits to Chinese companies who will build and supply to these plants c) guaranteed profits to the Chinese companies that will operate and own these plants d) backed by sovereign guarantee 5. We’re making commitments to buy electricity at over 8 cents from coal-based plants and India is buying solar electricity at 4 cents (solar price is crashing every year).

This will make our manufacturing uncompetitive for the next 15 years or longer

6. Meanwhile, the government falsely thinks tax revenue growth is economic growth. Excessive taxation is crushing the local industry and businesses and the government claims a “victory” every time it borrows more money

7. The Chinese are rational profit-minded businessmen…they have zero incentive to think about our future prosperity. Would they rather bolster our economy or own us?

So why is the CPEC “game changer” being sold to us with such force? As a state, we are feeling threatened by multiple regional and global forces. The Chinese investment is an insurance policy.

We’re giving them what they want (profits), in return for what we want (security and survival).

What’s the problem?

That the “game changer” is a mirage. Let’s be honest about CPEC. It won’t bring us prosperity. It’s a debt trap we’re willing to get into because we’re desperate. Once we see it for what it is, we’ll know what to do: tighten our belts, work hard, train our people and export more.

And start before it’s too late.

The Chinese are our friends but we’re going to turn them into our masters. Even God doesn’t help a people that don’t help themselves, so why Chinese would help us.
By Shahhajahan
Views expressed in the article are writer,s own