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Pakistan concedes to China’s demand

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday caved in to China’s demand for opening a revolving bank account that would partially save Chinese power plants from circular debt but it may cause concern among officials of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

It also allowed import of 580,000 tons of wheat at a price of $372 per ton, excluding the incidental and transportation charges, which would cost the national exchequer a minimum of $216 million.

Wheat import will cost a total of $224 million after including the incidental charges. The decisions were taken by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet that stamped a second government-to-government wheat contract with a Russian state-owned supplier. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar chaired the ECC meeting.

“The ECC approved a proposal of the finance ministry to change the title of the revolving fund account for CPEC independent power producers (IPPs) from Pakistan Energy Revolving Fund to Pakistan Energy Revolving Account,” said a statement issued by the Ministry of Finance. It was decided that any additional cost of inland transportation from Gwadar Port would be borne by Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (Passco) to be recovered from provinces at the time of release of wheat stock.

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