Chinese firm upset over delay in KE acquisition plan.

Byline: Khaleeq Kiani

ISLAMABAD -- The Shanghai Electric Power (SEP) of China appears to be getting upset over inordinate delays in its K-Electric acquisition plan and has indicated it cannot be expected to stay on forever.

A delegation led by Vice Chief Economist of the SEP Mingwei Shi called on MinisAter for Planning, DevelopAment and Reforms MakhAdoom Khusru Bakhtyar here on Thursday and complained that its $1.77 billion takeover plan of the KE continued to face roadblocks.

Informed sources told Dawn that the delegation complained to the planning division's team that also included the member energy, member private sector and other senior officials that relevant ministries remained unmoved even after passage of seven months of the new government in place.

At a meeting with planning minister, SEP team complains about roadblocks $1.77bn takeover plan is facing

The delegation said that Privatisation Minister Mianmohammed Soomro had constituted a committee around five months ago for speedy settlement of matters relating to the transactions and since then the SEP had been running from one ministry to another, but the bureaucracy appeared to have adopted hands-off approach to the issue.

As a consequence, the SEP's plans for $9bn investment for improvement of K-Electric system remained stuck up, the delegation said. 'Imagine the results of implementation of even parts of the proposed investment by now had the deal materialised two years ago,' a source quoted Mingwei Shi as telling the minister.

It was reported that the government had not yet issued national security certificate for formal execution of the deal.

At the heart of problem are the unsettled liabilities of KE payable to public sector gas and power companies on account of gas and electricity supplies. The amounts involved are reported to be around Rs100bn while KE has claims against entities of the Sindh government.

Officials said the Planning Commission had no direct role in the SEP-KE deal but being focal point of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the Chinese investors had taken up the matter with the planning...

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