March 13, 2018
ISLAMABAD: A (related to elected lawmakers) panel on Tuesday ordered the launch of a probe to decide/figure out the real origin of a Chinese company that is developing the ‘pearl’ of China-Pakistan Money-based Hallway/travel path (CPEC) after the government admitted that the company did not have the security clearance to work in Pakistan.
“The Ministry of Interior has not yet issued a security clearance certificate to China Across the ocean Ports Holding Private Limited Company (COPHC-Pakistan) that is building and operating Gwadar deep-sea port,” said Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Executive Director Shaukat Hussain.
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He was speaking before the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance that met to discuss the registration of COPHC-Pakistan.
The SECP official said the (device that controls something/group of people that ensures rules are followed) had written to the Ministry of Interior in November 2014, but the ministry had not yet given its response. As per needed things of the Ministry of Interior, the companies involving foreign directors and subscribers need to secure required clearance from the ministry.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Member National Assembly (MNA) Asad Umar had taken up the issue after a newspaper showed/told about that COPHC-Pakistan was a company of unknown (written proof of identity, education, etc.). The article claimed that (what people commonly call a/not really a) parent company of COPHC-Pakistan, China Across the ocean Ports Holding Limited, was a one-room company, registered in Hong Kong.
Standing Committee Chairman Qaiser Ahmad Sheikh of the PML-N directed the SECP to conduct a probe to decide/figure out the origin of the parent company. The SECP was also directed to submit complete profiles of the parent company and its (less important thing/company owned by another company).
The (group that decides or promotes something) asked the SECP to review the security clearance issue of COPHC-Pakistan.
“It is upsetting that the government allowed COPHC-Pakistan to operate Gwadar port without first giving it security clearance certificate,” Umar said, adding Federal Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, who had been started/working at CPEC planning, should have taken up the issue.
China is developing Gwadar port as a (related to a plan to reach a goal) and commercial hub under its Belt and Road effort to begin (doing something) that promises shared (related to a large area) richness. CPEC is one of the many (blood vessels from the heart/busy roads) of the effort to begin (doing something).
In 2013, Pakistan handed over Gwadar port to the Chinese company by taking back a deal with a Singaporean company that could not develop the port after taking it over in 2007. In 2016, Pakistan approved sweeping tax givebacks for COPHC-Pakistan.
Pakistan has handed over Gwadar port under a giveback agreement for 43 years.
The SECP on Tuesday also presented documents to the standing (group that decides or promotes something). Its papers showed that three directors of the company held only three shares – one each for the three directors – and the rest out of a total of 10 million shares were owned by COPHC Limited based in Hong Kong.
More than that, COPHC being the holding company requested the SECP registrar for approval of registration of the COPHC-Pakistan name in August 2014. Mandviwalla & Zafar Fights for and Legal Consultants declared for COPHC that the company would be (a smaller company owned by) COPHC, according to the SECP documents.
The SECP said when the interior ministry did not give the security clearance certificate, the (device that controls something/group of people that ensures rules are followed) went ahead/moved forward with incorporation of the company after taking standard difficult project from COPHC-Pakistan.
For two years, the company did not file its once-a-year audited accounts and the SECP then served a show-cause (see/hear/become aware of) on February 9, 2017 for not filing the accounts and other updated documents.
(after that), the company filed the accounts for the year ended June 30, 2015 and June 30, 2017.
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COPHC-Pakistan is the second Chinese company whose affairs are being (examined closely so the truth can be found) by a (related to elected lawmakers) body. Earlier, the National Highway Authority (NHA) chairman admitted before the Senate Standing Committee on Finance about the suspicious things/mistakes committed in the case of a company working on a road project.
NHA Chairman Jawwad Rafique Malik stated that givebacks worth roughly $200 million given to China State Construction Engineering Company were not part of the original bid documents floated for the construction of the 392km Multan-Sukkur road section.