ISLAMABAD: A Chinese company on Tuesday issued a statement, denying allegations of corruption in Sukkur-Multan Motorway project.
China State Construction Engineering Corporation Limited (CSCEC) said that it feels extremely shocked by the recent groundless allegations made publicly through media against Sukkur-Multan Motorway Project, undertaken by our company.
In order to clarify the facts and mitigate the unnecessary harm to relevant parties, the company listed the following points of clarification:
- CSCEC has profound respect for Pakistan and its people. In the spirit of win-win cooperation and benefiting Pakistani people, we have been carrying out our business activities and all of our operations fully in compliance with Pakistani laws and regulations. All the allegations made recently are baseless and untrue.
- The project is the flagship project of CPEC. It immensely benefits Pakistani people and symbolizes China-Pakistan friendship. We are proud to participate in this project. The whole tendering, bidding process and award of the contract have been made in accordance with local laws and international practices.
- CSCEC signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Government of Pakistan (GoP) in July 2013. The MoU envisaged a motorway connecting Karachi to Lahore. It was a non-binding document and valid for a period of one year that expired on July 4, 2014, while the bidding process started in June 2015. This MoU had no influence over the whole bidding process.
- After an open and transparent bidding process, CSCEC was declared the lowest bidder. Moreover, the final bid price was reduced substantially under the requirement of the GoP. It is common in the international construction field that there are certain differences between the cost estimate provided in the feasibility study report and the bid price. Some of the cost items that increased the bid price and were not added in the cost estimate during the feasibility stage include but not limited to the following: use of LTE dedicated frequency for the Intelligent Transport System (ITS), inclusion of taxes and duties, formation of granular material platforms for flood protection, construction of 235 km service road, defects notification period up to 3 years against normal of 1 year, increased length of the project, more bridges and service areas, etc in the bidding documents, which undoubtedly had an additional cost impact. It must be noted that the PC-1 for the Project was not prepared by CSCEC.
- Currently, the project is progressing smoothly and expected to be handed over on schedule. It will indeed be a miracle in the world to complete almost 400 km motorway within 3 years. This achievement is not easy and could only be made possible after the joint efforts of all participating parties. We sincerely hope that relevant personnel will do more to benefit the progress of the project, to benefit the Pakistani people and to benefit the friendship between Pakistan and China.
“As a participant of CPEC, CSCEC is willing to join hands with our Pakistani brothers, to make our contribution to the development of this country. We remain committed to continue untiring efforts to enhance the friendship and the brotherhood between Pakistan and China,” the statement said.
“CSCEC is the largest investment and construction corporation in the world. The company has earned its international status for its actual strength, quality, integrity, cooperation, mutual benefit and respect of laws, rules and regulations of every country in the world,” the statement concluded.