The Chinese government has sent Pakistan’s first modern railways’s infrastructure project Main Line-1 [ML-1] to the Exim Bank of China for the approval of a $6 billion loan after all technical, administrative and other issues have finally been resolved, paving the way for launching civil work on this scheme within this year.
“The latest on the $6.8 billion ML-1 projects is that a finance committee comprising Chinese officials has sent the case related to $6 billion loan approval of the project to Exim Bank. Since the remaining $800 million will be provided by the government of Pakistan as equity, the total $6.8 billion will be spent on completion of the entire rail-related infrastructure, mainly the line, fencing, civil works, etc,”
Pakistan Railways Federal Secretary / Railway Board Chairman Dr. Habibur Rehman Gillani said “We appreciate our Chinese counterparts for taking the ML-1, a project to be executed under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), seriously by resolving various issues in consultation with senior Pakistani officials concerned,” Mr. Gillani added.
The construction of ML-1 project in three phases had been approved by the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) in its meeting held in August last year. The actual cost of the project was initially $9bn, including equity amount of the government of Pakistan. But later, it was reduced gradually to $6.8bn.