Pakistan demands protection cost from CPEC power project sponsors

| Updated: Aug 04, 2017 18:04 IST

Lahore [Pakistan], August 4 (ANI):Pakistan has demanded protection cost from China-Pakistan Economic Corridor power project operators so that they can ensure sustainable security by special forces. The federal government has reportedly issued a policy instructing power project operators to pay protection cost so that they can be provided security keeping in view the internal and external security threats to the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects. Nepra has notified a total of 19 power projects that will be developed under the CPEC programme.Project sponsors have been asked to pay $150,000 each in protection cost in the very first year. The cost will continue to increase 3% per annum for the remaining project life. But CPEC project operators has been fiercely opposing the cost demanded by the government ,arguing that it is the duty of the government to ensure sustainable security of the projects. Zonergy, one of the project operators under CPEC, said in its comments to Nepra that if the government would impose security cost on the operators, then it would remove private security guards from its projects and the government would ensure sustainable security. The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra), in a decision, announced on Thursday "independent power producers of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects shall pay $150,000 per annum subject to 3% indexation for each year after the first year from the commercial operation date, as required under the security protection clause of the Implementation Agreement (of the projects), directly to the relevant ministry/agency designated for the purpose during the construction period as well as during the operation period." Nepra has issued the policy directive in compliance with a summary sent by the Economic Coordination Committee to the regulator late last year.(ANI)