Central Asian, ME countries ready to invest in CPEC; says Omar Ayub

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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Power Omar Ayub Khan has said Pakistan and China are enjoying deep, historical, strategic, economic and people-to- people relations which would be cemented further in future. The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, he said, was part of One Belt One Road initiative of Chinese President Xi Jinping and different countries, including Central Asian republics and the Middle East countries states were ready to be part of it.
Both Pakistan and China had the consensus that other countries should also invest in the CPEC, he said talking to a private news channel. The minister said improving the power transmission lines was the top priority of incumbent government as it was the major cause of electricity problems, besides causing line losses.
The previous governments had not made any endeavour to improve power transmission system, which was very unfortunate, he added.
Omar Ayub Khan said power theft was a big issue as the country was facing around Rs 60 billion losses every year on that count. Replying to a question, he said work on Karot Hydro Power project, which was also a part CPEC, was underway on fast-track basis and after its completion in 2021, some 720 megawatt cheap electricity would be added to the national grid. The company, which was constructing Karot Hydro Power Project, would transfer its ownership to the Government of Pakistan after 30 years, he added.