Pak-China to Sign Beijing Loan for ML-1 Project

Pak-China to Sign Beijing Loan for ML-1 Project

Islamabad: The forthcoming Pakistan Government will soon finalize the terms and conditions of a loan from Beijing for the Main Line-1 (ML-1) project of Pakistan Railways (PR) in Islamabad.

Amir Ali Baloch, chief executive officer (CEO) of PR, asserts that, except for the financing agreement with the Chinese authorities, every facet of the undertaking has been attended to. The procedure entails a discourse between governments, during which the loan agreement is finalized under the guidance of the incoming administration.

This dialogue addresses matters including interest rates and repayment durations. Mr. Baloch affirmed that, except for the loan agreement, all other project-related matters have been resolved, including a supplement about the project’s cost.

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The ML-1 project, an integral component of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), has experienced modifications that have resulted in a decreased initial cost of USD 9.85 billion to USD 6.678 billion. This modification was formally established by means of an addendum to the CPEC’s framework agreement, which was affixed during the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) forum in October 2023.

As per the amended strategy, the undertaking comprises four distinct stages that traverse a 1,726-kilometer extent from Karachi to Peshawar. The objective of the upgrade is to initially elevate the design speed to 140 kilometers per hour, with the possibility of an additional 160 kilometers per hour being achieved upon the finalization of supplementary infrastructure enhancements.

Moreover, Pakistan Railways is expanding its modernization initiatives in the future months to incorporate cutting-edge restaurant-on-wheel services onto three express trains.

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