Unnecessary secrecy on CPEC hitting national interests: PEW

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The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Monday said unnecessary secrecy on economic corridor is against the national interests as it is harassing the business community.

Government should trust its subjects and divulge full details of the project so that local and foreign investors can participate in it, it said.

Different Chinese companies are getting massive tax breaks which while there is so much concealment in the whole affair that a governor of the central bank had to speak in public about lack of knowledge about the project, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

He said that different Chinese companies have been given tax breaks for over two decades which include exemptions from income tax, sales tax, excise duty, customs duty, withholding tax etc.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that the impact of the taxes will be more than Rs150 billion annually but the authorities claim that it will not hurt the local industry which is amazing.

He said that the project will create hundreds of thousands of jobs but many fear that majority of the jobs will go to the Chinese while locals would be ignored which is against the national interests.

Government needs to launch a study about the impact of project on the environment as the roads alone will add around twenty-five percent of the total national emissions that will have a catastrophic effect on the environmentally sensitive area of Gilgit-Baltistan.

It will hit the water resources and speed up the melting of glaciers which can transform Pakistan into a desert well before the estimated time, he added.

He said that few influential families have access to information in Pakistan and government should ensure that the same should not reap all the benefits of the projects otherwise it will lose its popularity among the masses.

In: Economy WatchAuthor: AAMIR JAVED