Pakistan plans to speak with China to reduce the cost of its mega railways project by 40% since it can’t afford such a huge loan, according to its minister.
The ministry will seek the approval of the federal cabinet and then talk to the Chinese, railways minister Khawaja Saad Rafique said in Lahore on Monday. The two nation agreed to upgrade the 1,163-mile track from Karachi in south to Peshawar in November.
“How will we repay such a big loan,” Rafique said.
Pakistan has been a flagship destination for President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road initiative with projects worth more than $29 billion completed in the South Asian nation. China funded power plants, which helped the nation overcome its power deficit, increased its debt burden. About 30% of Pakistan’s foreign debt is owed to China, including state-owned commercial banks, the International Monetary Fund said in a report last year.