Jun 112017
Transportation cost

This refers to the article, ‘More vision wasted’ (Jun 9), by Shahzad Chaudhry. According to the writer, “$ 50 billion [spent on the CPEC project] will get them [China] a direct route from the Arabian Sea to Kashgar, reducing distance and the cost of moving goods by half”. This is not true. Comparing distance by sea with distance by road is misleading. In transport economics, it is not distance that matters but it is the cost which is relevant. The cost of transporting a container by road is around $1 to $1.50 per km. This transportation will cost much more in mountainous areas across Karakoram. It will cost at least $5000, excluding the cost of transportation in China, to move a container by road from Gwadar to Kashgar. Abdul Majeed Islamabad Click for detailed story

May 262017
Close to a collapse

This refers to the article, ‘Dark clouds’ (May 25), by Kamila Hyat. The learned writer’s observation that “the state as a whole is too close to a collapse” is confirmed by the attitude of authorities. Our prime minister is either on a field visit to inspect a motorway project under construction or on a foreign visit. He has no time to look into other affairs of the state. One thing is certain: the PML-N government will be remembered in history as the builder of motorways and metro-trains. After all, it is the strong structures like Taj Mahal that survive. Who cares about condition of the people? Abdul Majeed Islamabad Click for detailed story

Mar 292017
Drawbacks of CPEC

This refers to the article, ‘Opposition to CPEC’ (Mar 28) by Abdul Sattar. The writer has tried to absolve China of all criticism regarding CPEC.        However, his inferences and examples are weak.   For     example, his point pertaining to taking land from the native Indian tribes in the US in 1830 will not find any moral support in the case of acquiring land for CPEC projects today.    Similarly, the sale of large tracks of land – which would have been justified in 19th century when land was easily available – does not justify the acquisition of agricultural land in thickly populated areas for CPEC projects.  The writer has also mentioned that China is pumping $960 billion into the ‘One Belt One Road’ project and there is no complaint of exploitation.    There is no complaint centre to find out if there is any complaint against Chinese investments. The fact that China has huge foreign trade surpluses is enough to prove that Chinese trade is not balanced.  But the more important thing to note is that the GNP of the investor is increasing while that of the debtor is moving at a snail’s pace.          This is the case of exploitative investments.                       Unfortunately, none of the projects included in CPEC were selected by an analysis or systematic study. There were no economic feasibility studies, proper cost-benefit analysis or competitive bidding. The concept of an economic corridor is not ours. It will only leave us with unnecessary infrastructure and heavy debt repayments.                   Abdul Majeed Islamabad [Read More…]

Feb 232017
Loans and returns

This refers to the article, ‘CPEC’ (Feb 19) by Farrukh Saleem. The facts are shocking. It is surprising that the Pakistani government agreed on 13 percent interest on loan and 27 to 34 percent return on equity without competitive bidding. One fears that this type of arrangement will not be beneficial for the country in the long run. Abdul Majeed Islamabad Click for detailed story

Feb 212016

MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed on Sunday laid to rest speculation that polls in the territory will be delayed, insisting that the exercise will be held on time without even an hour’s lapse.“People making a hue and cry that the present government is not ready to hold elections on time should keep quiet,” he told a news conference at the PM House.The AJK PM said that his government was determined to hold the Legislative Assembly elections by July 26.He said the AJK government was consulting NADRA for preparing computerised voters’ lists to ensure free, fair and transparent polls. Updated electoral lists will give voting rights to thousands of youth, he said.To a question, Majeed, who also heads the ruling PPP AJK chapter, said that they have closed all the doors to steal the mandate of the people of Azad Kashmir, claiming that PPP will win the general elections on the basis of performance and progress.Regarding the death of PPP worker Chaudhry Munshi in a clash between PPP and PML-N workers, Majeed said that the culprits will be brought to justice.Published in The Express Tribune, February 22nd,  2016.The post ‘No delays’: Majeed vows to hold AJK polls on due date appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

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