PESHWAR -  Known industrialist and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senator Nauman Wazir has proposed charging of a toll tax of 2.50 percent of the invoice value from Chinese exporters to make Khunjerab to Gwadar Road sustainable and financially viable project.

Addressing a function in the Institute of Architecture Pakistan Peshawar here, the senator said that this would amount to $25 per ton, still $50 per ton cheaper with 15-day of reduced transportation time. He said that under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Chinese exporters from Xinjiang would not only save $80 per ton but also 15 days of transportation time.

He said that at present the goods transport from Xinjiang to Dubai port through Eastern port of China costs $130 per ton to the Chinese exporters and takes 22 days. However, the same goods if transported through Gwadar would cost the Chinese exporters $50 per ton. He also highlighted the coming infrastructure and power project under CPEC. He showed his reservations on the financial viability of the Khunjerab to Gwadar road and infrastructure.

Senator Nauman expressed his apprehension over not deciding the toll charges prior to launching CPEC programme. He said that the high markup and insurance premium charged by the Chinese investors in the power projects would result in high electricity cost for the industry in Pakistan which would result in higher production cost and making Pakistani products uncompetitive in the international market.

The senator also showed his reservations of offering 23 years tax holidays to Chinese firms and not to Pakistani firms and investors. The influx of tax free construction material from china would seriously hamper the existing industries in Pakistan. He appreciated Brighto Paints for setting up 3.1 million liter of paint manufacturing plant at Faisalabad and 1,100 tons per day of steel manufacturing facility of FF Steel being setup in Lahore.