ISLAMABAD (DNA) Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Darhas said that the government will go ahead with both Dasu and Diamer Projects at the same time and eventually phase out costly thermal power generation which has resulted in large import bill. He directed the officials of the Ministry of Water and Power and WAPDA to plan for the international investors meeting to be held in Washington DC to attract donor agencies and US investors for construction of mega dams in Pakistan with special emphasis on opportunities available in Diamer Bhasha Dam Project.
The Finance Minister said this while chairing a meeting to discuss issues related to financing of Diamer Bhasha Dam at the Finance Ministry on Saturday.
Senator Ishaq Dar observed that Indus River Cascade has an over ninety thousands mega watts power generation capacity and had there been focus on hydel power generation, the country would not have shortage of energy or water. He directed Chairman WAPDA to expedite formulation of a comprehensive Hydel Power Policy in order to attract private sector investment in this huge potential. He emphasized that hydel led energy mix can provide cheaper electricity to the people of Pakistan. He mentioned that with the construction of three gorges dam, China has placed a check on floods and built a reservoir on which the whole country is benefiting.
Chairman WAPDA, Mr. Zafar Mahmood briefed the Finance Minister on a draft Hydel Power Policy which is being prepared and it would include all issues related to attract private sector investment in hydel power generation in Pakistan. The policy will provide for upfront tariff to the international investors. He informed that the policy will also address environmental aspects in addition to technical and financial aspects. He further informed that the draft policy is essential for attracting private sector investment in hydel power generation.
He briefed the Finance Minister on the work done so far in connection with Diamer Bhasha Dam. The Finance Minister was informed that during the last twenty four hours, Mangla Dam has absorbed two million acre feet of water from its catchment areas. He said that the Mangla Dam Raising Project has brought immense benefits not only for conservation of water but also to control flooding.
Mr. Miftah Ismail, Chairman BOI, Dr. Waqar Masood, Finance Secretary, Mr. Saleem Sethi, Secretary Economic Affairs Division, Rana Assad Amin, Advisor to Finance Ministry and senior officials of the Ministries of Finance and Water and Power also attended the meeting.
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