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China to sideline ADB, fully fund Karachi-Peshawar rail link

29 April 2017

China will fully fund the $8-billion Karachi-Peshawar railway line in Pakistan to ensure the smooth completion of the key project, which was earlier to be partly funded by the Asian Development Bank.

"China strongly argued that two-sourced financing would create problems and the project would suffer," Pakistan minister for planning and development Ahsan Iqbal told reporters on Friday.

The project was originally planned to be partly funded by the Manila-based  Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Dawn reported.

The minister said he would not comment on whether the ministry of railways has so far resisted the Chinese request for fears of monopoly, but said the entire financing would now come from China.

He said the ADB would be accommodated in some other projects, such as those under the Central Asian Regional Economic Cooperation programme.

Under the original plan, the ADB was to provide $ 3.5-billion for the 1,700-km-long line, considered the backbone of the country's logistics connecting two major ports with the rest of the country for transporting goods and passengers.

The minister said the Chinese government wanted that the project financing should be kept single-sourced.

Pakistan and China are expected to sign a formal agreement in this regard next month.

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