Former SBP governor’s book on CPEC myths and realities launched

The Centre of Excellence-CPEC, a think tank run by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) and the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform, held the launching ceremony of a book titled ‘CPEC and Pakistani Economy: An Appraisal’.

The publication is a joint effort by State Bank of Pakistan former governor Dr Ishrat Husain and the Centre of Excellence-CPEC and aims at disseminating the updated and authentic information about the multi-billion dollar initiative.

Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing was the chief guest on the occasion. Shoaib A Siddiqui, secretary Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform, Hassan Daud, project director (CPEC), Sumaira Nazir Siddiqui, secretary Board of Investment, Dr Safdar A Sohail, director general National Institute of Management, Dr Shahid Rashid, Executive Director of CoE-CPEC, academicians, scholars attended.

In his address, Dr Ishrat Hussain deliberated upon the intention of writing the book. He said some of the frequent reservations expressed about the CPEC are lack of transparency and non-availability of complete information. “Also a very common question has been raised about the socioeconomic benefits, particularly about job opportunities. This booklet attempts to address some of these issues to the extent that the projects have been planned, agreed upon, finalized and implementation is underway. Only approximately half of $45 billion committed originally for CPEC would be utilized for these projects. Pakistan’s liability is therefore at present limited to this $ 23-25 billion only. Many other projects are at feasibility stage, discussion or negotiation stage between the two governments or on hold. No amount has either been committed or disbursed for these projects and the liability of Pakistan has not yet arisen,” he said.

Shoaib A Siddiqui appreciated Dr Ishrat Hussain’s endeavour to write a masterpiece on CPEC. He explained different chapters of the book and viewed that this was a must-read not only for Pakistanis but also the Chinese people.

Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing concluded the session saying, “It is an immense pleasure for me to launch this booklet which is a great initiative to dispel the misconceptions pertaining CPEC. The role of CoE-CPEC in policy shaping, evidence-based research work and other tasks in furtherance of CPEC is appreciable.”

Published in Daily Times, May 16th 2018.