ISLAMABAD: The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Secretariat has urged the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) to move a summary for retrospective waiver from Anti- Dumping Act to avoid anti-dumping duty on grant projects in future, well informed sources told Business Recorder.
The decision to amend Anti-Dumping Act was taken at a recent meeting held in Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives convened to review CPEC projects.
The issue of anti-dumping duty had been raised by the Chinese government on machinery of a hospital planned for Gwadar with a Chinese grant. The bureaucracy did not clear the machinery due to which hospital could not be established in time. However, when the prime minister took strong notice of the lethargy of the bureaucracy, the issue got resolved.
According to sources, the meeting was apprised that the Anti-Dumping Act has been amended and no further duty will be imposed on grant projects in future. However, duties already imposed on grant projects in FY 2021-22 have not been waived yet. Ministry of Commerce was requested to initiate an amendment in Anti-Dumping Act for retrospective approval. Moreover, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) was directed previously to create provision in their PC-1 to resolve the matter.
The sources said the dispute issues related to M-5 and Karakoram Highway (KKH) also came under discussion in the meeting. Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal directed Ministry of Communications and National Highways Authority (NHA) to endeavour to resolve the pending issues.
The issue of opening of Revolving Account Fund for the Chinese IPPs also came under discussion. The meeting was informed that the name of Revolving Account Fund for CPEC IPPs has been changed to Revolving Account on Chinese demand.
The sources said Chinese embassy in Islamabad had refused to accept Revolving Account Fund as an alternative to Revolving Account.
The sources maintained that the issues related to follow up with Sinosure for clearance of 700 MW Azad Pattan, 1124 Kohala HPP, 1320 Thar Block -1 and Gwadar coal power plant.
The meeting was informed that these issues are being taken up at the level of Prime Minister and his aides and Pakistan embassy in China.
Insiders claimed that Chinese banks and Sinosure are reluctant to accord approvals due to circular debt issue which is now hovering at around Rs 2.5 trillion.
Chinese Ambassador, Nong Rong acknowledged that Chinese companies in Pakistan have opted for a “go-slow” policy due to delay in payment to the IPPs, rising exchange rate, and “unhelpful behaviour of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra)” with its companies.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022