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Diamer-Bhasha Dam: Pakistan likely to seek Chinese financing




  • Pakistan is likely to seek Chinese financing for 4500 MW Diamer-Bhasha dam after the two key lenders ie World Bank and Asian Bank Development (ADB) sent unsupportive signals, well informed sources told Business Recorder. This was the crux of a meeting on $12 billion multipurpose dam, presided over by the Minister for Water and Power, Ahmad Mukhtar on Monday.

    “We discussed the pros and cons of funding for the highly important project, especially in the context of ADB and World Bank role and future line of action,” the sources added. The sources said, “Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has been directed to prepare comprehensive funding plan and present it to the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) which is scheduled to meet on August 17, 2012 with Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in the chair.”

    The meeting also decided to send letters to the ADB and World Bank to seek finance for the project as ADB withdrew the pre-condition of No-Objection Certificate (NoC) from India. Sources in Wapda told this scribe that ADB”s funding prospects are now very bright as the Bank”s top local officials have indicated to Wapda high ups that NoC from India is no more a precondition for financing the Diamer-Bhasha Dam.

    Minister for Water and Power, who presided over the meeting on Monday said that the government is determined to construct the mega Water and Power projects and all the funding options are being considered to complete the projects within the shortest possible time. He said that the construction of mega water projects to enhance water storage capacity and to produce cheap electricity is the top priority of the government.

    He made these remarks while presiding over a meeting on Diamer-Basha Dam project here on Monday. The meeting was attended by Secretary Water and Power, Secretary Economic Affairs Division, Chairman Wapda and senior official of Planning Commission, Wapda and Ministry of Finance and Water and Power.

    Earlier, Chairman Wapda briefed the meeting on the current status of the project including its benefits, land acquisition, infrastructure development, compensation package, allocation by the govt. and other related issues. A couple of days ago, Chairman Wapda Shakil Durrani informed a Senate panel that the government”s top priority is construction of multi-purpose Diamer-Bhasha Dam over Dasu Dam which is only for power generation and has no provision for water storage.

    Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

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