The Pakistan government has decided to shelve a major power project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that was pushed by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's regime, the Pakistani media reported today.
Background discussions with government officials suggest that Islamabad has officially conveyed to Beijing that it was no more interested in the 1,320-megawatt Rahim Yar Khan power project, as it can generate enough electricity to meet local needs for the next few years, Dawn news reported.
Pakistan has requested China to remove the project from the CPEC list of projects.
During the 8th Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting held last month, a Pakistani delegation led by Minister for Planning and Development Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar "proposed to remove the Rahim Yar Khan imported fuel power plant (1,320 mw) from the CPEC list, in order to provide structure optimisation space for the subsequent power market of Pakistan", a government official said.
The project was originally pushed as an imported coal-based plant by Quaid-i-Azam Thermal Company of the Pakistani Punjab government led by former Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
A business tycoon had proposed the project and was expected to be one of its key sponsors.
The official said Prime Minister Imran Khan's government has also decided to remove almost 400 "politically motivated" Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) projects as part of a comprehensive mid-year review later this month.
"We are reviewing all such schemes in detail; we do not want to waste public funds where lien has been created or sufficient progress achieved, but we definitely don't like to throw good money after bad," a cabinet member told Dawn.