Pakistan and China have agreed to keep unchanged the tariff and tax policies relating to power sector contracts and arrest and prosecute the attackers of the July 14 bus tragedy at Dasu at the earliest, Dawn news reported.

Speaking at a news conference on Thursday after the much-delayed JCC meeting, Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar, who co-chaired it, said the two sides had agreed to the need and importance of enhanced security not only for CPEC projects but also Chinese labourers working in Pakistan, following the Dasu incident.

Both sides agreed to “arrest those guilty of heinous crime and get them sentenced by courts at the earliest”, the Dawn news report said.

Umar said the Chinese side raised the issue of security and the Pakistani side agreed that spectrum of economic cooperation was expanding, SIZs were coming up, investments were flowing in and Chinese workers were working in many areas, even outside the CPEC, and hence the need for security had also increased.

He said work on the Dasu hydropower project had not resumed yet but that was not part of the CPEC.

The Chinese has been agitating build-up of power sector dues going beyond $1.4 billion, creation of a revolving fund for automatic payments and an increase in withholding tax rates after the agreements were signed.

Pakistan has been seeking changes in tariff structure for independent power producers to reduce financial burden in line with tariff discounts secured from other IPPs to address the circular debt pressure.

–IANS

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