Bolan Times : Kaiser Bengali, Ex Economic Advisor of Chief Minister ( CM )Balochistan said that ” China Pakistan Economic Corridor may signify a game over ” instead of a game changer in Pakistan .
Dr Kaiser Bengali , Ex Economic Advisor of ( CM ) Balochistan , a senior economist, as well as consultant/national coordinator for Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), Government of Pakistan in his interviewed which he was given to local online news media recently said that Instead of a game-changer, CPEC may signify a game over.
Dr Kaiser Bengali added that , There are no details available and the government is not ready to answer any questions. Instead of a game-changer; CPEC may signify a game over. I see the Corridor creating threats for local businesses and fear that it won’t be a win-win situation for both countries.
“Since Chinese companies are tax-exempt they will bring everything from China and hence they will have no reliance on Pakistani businesses to fulfil their demands. This has shattered the dreams of many local companies that planned to expand their production facilities in anticipation of receiving orders from these Chinese companies. The association of cable operators in Pakistan is one such entity that was expecting a big boost in its sale volumes, but now they are struggling to sustain their existing sale figures”
” The Chinese companies play smart and get excellent returns on their investments. It has proven difficult to extract much from them. China has a 10-year control of the Saindak Copper and Gold Project and gets gold as a by-product of the mining.”
” China does not share how much ore it is taking from Pakistan or how much copper it is extracting or what is the quality of gold obtained as a by-product. And nobody can ask them these questions.”
Senor economist informed more that ” I raised this issue and presented 12 questions on CPEC to the government but it has not provided any answer except one “yes” to the question about whether any feasibility has been conducted on CPEC. However, they have no documents or figures to support this claim. Furthermore, there is no document on how the toll money, if at all, will be shared between the provinces through which the CPEC routes passes.”
” the above USD 50 billion loans and Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) will ultimately impact the country when there will be an outflow of loan payments and profit remittances to Chinese companies. This will put immense pressure on foreign reserves which are already dwindling. Unfortunately, Pakistan has done no planning on how funds and revenues will be generated for these payments “
“Another fear is that the trade imbalance with China will further widen. The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and China has already resulted in trade imbalances with Pakistani exports being far less than its imports from China. This is about formal trade; the flooding of Pakistani markets with Chinese products is in addition to it. You will be surprised to know that many Pakistani manufacturers have stopped production at their units. Instead, they import products from China and supply them to the market in Pakistani packaging. Buyers think the product is manufactured in Pakistan which is not the case.
The environmental cost of CPEC will also be big. One reason is that no EIAs have been done to offset this. Several coal-powered projects based on imported raw material have been launched. This dependence on imported fuel will increase pressure on rupee. The effective rate of US dollar is already Rs120 but it has been kept between Rs104 and Rs106 artificially. Just imagine what will be the situation when Pakistan will have to honour the payback commitments. ”
when he was asked by local media representative that how much does Pakistan stand to gain from the development of Gwadar? in reply he said
” I have said it earlier and will say it again that Gwadar cannot become Dubai. It is a seaport built for the purpose of re-exporting Chinese products brought into Pakistan via a land route. I think it is not possible to establish industrial zones and a mega city in Gwadar because there is no water available to support this development “
” The government does talk about the option of setting up a desalination plant but I do not think it is workable because of its huge fixed and operational costs. It is estimated that it will cost Rs750 million a year to run such a plant. China is apparently not ready to give funds, so Pakistan will have to cover the cost. I do not think Pakistan will be able to take this responsibility because its share of revenues from Gwadar Port is only 9 per cent while China has 91 per cent of the share”