CPEC projects may face delay: reports
Islamabad: According to the news sources, Pakistani authorities have warned about delays and disruption in CPEC related projects due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The delays in the multi-billion dollar projects are expected after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus considering which the Pakistani authorities have informed the Chinese counterpart.
In a detailed report tabled before the high-powered National Coordination Committee (NCC) stating that Chinese companies working on CPEC projects will suffer delays and higher costs along with supply-chain and worker related disruptions will be witnessed.
As per the report, Pakistan’s plan to expeditiously build the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) will also be affected and face delays as Chinese companies will find it hard to manage required human and capital supplies on an urgent basis.
Moreover, going on to the second phase, the SEZs will find it difficult to generate the fruits expected from them. The authorities are of the view that there is a serious thought going on in businesses, especially in G-8 countries to diversify global supply chains so that in case of emergency in one country they could rely upon or switch to other sources of supply.
A very detailed and concrete policy is highly needed at this time. However, even then the response may be constrained by Uncertainty about the nature and duration of shocks may even complicate policy response, Adequately finance demand of health systems and social safety nets within the confines of already squeezed budgets may not be sufficient; Need for a mix of timely and targeted policies on hard-hit sectors and segments of society through temporary tax relief and cash transfers (identification problem); Reprioritize revenue and spending objectives because the lower revenues arising from lower imports coupled with additional spending requirements for pandemic mitigation are likely to increase the fiscal deficit.