A number of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects are facing delays due to a financial crisis at the National Highway Authority (NHA).
Cheques for several firms working on road construction projects bounced, after which they decided to stop work. These firms include ZKB, SKB, Sardar Ashraf D Baloch, ACGC Chinese, Matracon, and China Railway 17 Group.
This is the first time a financial crisis has forced delays in CPEC projects.
The Delayed Projects
Work on the following projects was stopped because of payment issues:
- All sections of Karachi-Lahore Motorway (KLM).
- Western Route of CPEC,
- Seven packages of Hakla0 Dera Ismail Khan roads measuring 400km.
According to the firms’ representatives, cheques worth Rs 5 billion got bounced after which the construction activities came to a halt. Several other stakeholders, including laborers and engineers, were affected due to the situation as well.
NHA’s spokesperson Kashif Zaman said that Rs 5 billion were issued on 29th June for payments. Out of this, Rs 1.5 billion were cleared on the same day while “the remaining cheques that were deposited the next day could not be cleared”.
About the companies suspending the work on the said projects, Mr. Zaman said,
The progress on projects has not been affected. Same is true for Hazara Motorway and other sections.
He further said that most of these projects under question will be completed by December 2018.
The spokesperson added that the matter had been forwarded to the government and would be resolved soon.