CPEC authority warns about hidden costs of Saindak project

The extension of Saindak Project lease has been approved by the ECC for a period of 15 years.

Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar while commenting of the project on his twitter account said “…the Government of Pakistan’s share in profit has increased from 50:50 to 53:47 in Pakistan’s favour,” he further added that the newly negotiated agreement was concluded in consultation with all the stakeholders including the provincial government.

That might be the case but the Chairman, China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority is of the opinion that hidden cost in O&M of Saindak Copper-Gold Project can reduce government profits after the agreement. To prevent this from happening he has suggested hiring a professional person/ firms to ensure that expenses are booked fairly.

While agreeing with the opinion of the Chairman, Finance Minister has directed the relevant departments to make arrangements for an annual review by experts/ firm to bring transparency in the working of the company.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood was of the view that the lease period should be reduced to ten years instead of the fifteen years, as previous lease was also for ten years.  But during discussion the Petroleum Division responded that any change in the terms and conditions at this stage could undermine the whole transaction; therefore, it was not recommended.