ISLAMABAD: The Chinese government has temporarily blocked funds allocated for the construction of roads under China Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC).

A senior government official said that China has decided not to release funds for this purpose till further instructions from Beijing adding that this decision of Chinese government would greatly affect on the projects worth over Rs 1 billion launched by National Highway Authority (NHA).

The preliminary report has confirmed that minimum three projects would be delayed after this decision of Chinese government.

The projects which would affect may include D.I.Khan to Zhob 210 km long road, for which Rs 81 billion have been estimated. Rs 66 billion would be spent on the construction of road while remaining Rs 15 billion would be spent for purchase of required land. Besides this, Khudzar road which is constructed with the total cost of Rs 19.76 billion would also be affected. The remaining portion of Karakum High way from Rai Kot to Tha Kot which is 136 km long and constructed with the cost of over Rs 8 billion would be affected.

It is worth-mentioning here that these projects were the part of government’s development program but the spokesperson of NHA in December 2016 had announced to include these projects in CPEC.

The official said that funds for three projects were sanctioned in the 6th meeting of Joint Cabinet Committee and it was hoped that funds for the said projects would be sanctioned in the meeting of Joint Working Group but Pakistan was told in the meeting that new instructions would be issued by Beijing and new procedure for the release of funds be introduced.

It is to be noted that as per pervious procedure, approval was sought from different six forums and then funds were to be released.

The officials said while quoting the statements of Chinese administration that previous procedure was only for primary projects and new instructions would be issued for future projects of CPEC.

However, the officials have claimed that Chinese authorities have concerns over the news items published in Pakistani newspapers regarding corruption in CPEC projects that  is why, Chinese government have blocked the funds temporarily for CPEC.