Islamabad: Pakistan, which is reeling under economic hardship, is set to be dealt a major blow by its special friend China. In fact, Chinese companies have made an open threat to the Government of Pakistan, saying that if their 300 billion rupees are not paid, they will turn off the light of Pakistan. More than two dozen Chinese firms operating in Pakistan said on Monday they would be forced to shut down their power plants this month.
These Chinese companies owe Pakistan more than Rs 300 billion. They will shut down power plants till their dues are cleared, he said. 30 Chinese companies operate in Pakistan under the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and are dominated by Pakistan's energy, communications, and railways among others. When the issue came up at a meeting with Chinese companies led by Pakistan's Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Monday, Pakistan had no answer. According to a report in the Pakistani newspaper Dawn, Chinese officials had placed several complaints related to complex visa procedures, taxes etc. in this meeting before the Pakistani minister. Around 25 representatives of Chinese independent power producers (IPPs) spoke with the Pak minister one after the other.
During this time, they complained about the non-payment of their dues and also warned that if the money is not paid at the earliest, they will close down the power plants in a few days. Pak authorities put pressure on Chinese companies to maximise production given the extreme heat requirements. On this, the Chinese companies said that "given the serious need for money, it is impossible for us to do so". '