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October 6, 2018

Senate question-hour: Mohmand Dam’s total cost is Rs309 billion


October 6, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The government on Friday during question hour in Senate maintained that Mohmand Dam would be constructed with an estimated cost of Rs309 billion in almost 6 years as the Neelum Jhelum surcharge will be received till December this year.

Joint opposition staged a walkout from the Senate to protest against increase in gas prices.

Leader of Opposition Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haq said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was an institution, which helped none but derailed the whole system altogether.

The veteran legislator noted that an IMF delegation was currently visiting the country and the government presented all the details in front of it, but the parliament was kept in dark. During the question hour, in a written reply to a question about gas price hike, Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Ghulam Sarwar Khan said that Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of Cabinet in its meeting held on September 17, 2018 approved an increase in sale price of natural gas.

“The main reason for sale price revision of natural gas is that SSGCL and SNGPL were selling gas at a sale price, which was lower than their prescribed price (revenue required to operate including cost of gas). This caused an unprecedented revenue shortfall of both Sui companies since the sale price of natural gas had not been adequately revised in the last five years in line with the revenue requirements of the said companies,” he noted. The government informed the House that work on Diamer-Bhasha Dam had been pending for a long time and could not be started due to non-arrangement of finances from donor agencies.

In a written reply in response to a question by Senator Mushtaq Ahmed, the Minister for Water Resources said that original PC-I amounting to Rs894.257 billion was approved by ECNEC on August 20, 2009, according to which the project was to be completed by June 2020. However, he said as per new financing strategy, PC-I (dam part) amounting to Rs474 billion has been approved by ECNEC on April 17, 2018 according to which project is to be completed by June 2027. He added that PC-I of Dasu HPP (Stage-I 2160 MW) amounting to Rs486.093 billion was approved by ECNEC on March 28, 2014 according to which the project was to be completed by March 2020.

The contract MW-01 for Construction of RCC Dam and allied hydraulic structures and contract MW-02 for construction of underground powerhouse and allied hydraulic structures, he noted, have been awarded with commencement on June 23, 2017, he said, adding the project is scheduled to be completed by February 2023. The minister said that PC-I of Mohmand Dam project amounting to Rs309.558 billion was approved by ECNEC on April 26, 2018. The hiring of consultancy services and procurement of works is in progress, he said, adding the project is expected to be completed in five years and eight months after commencement.

The tentative date of commencement is April, 2019 with expected completion in June 2024. The status of these projects is: Diamer Bhasha Dam (4,500 MW), 31700 acres of land has been acquired out of total required land of 37419 acres (85 per cent). The procurement process of consultancy services for Main Dam is under process. The preliminary works including colony and resettlement works are underway. The prequalification documents have been issued for contract MW-1 with submission date by September 12, 2018. Dasu Hydropower Project Stage-I (2160 MW) – the pace of progress is lagging as per planned schedule due to delayed land acquisition which is necessarily required for preparatory and main civil works. Out of 9917 acre land required for Project, 739 acre has been acquired to-date. “Oil prices in Pakistan are less in the region and the government is providing Rs8 billion subsidy on petroleum prices,” said Ghulam Sarwar while responding to a question. He added per liter prices of petrol and diesel in India are Rs144.20 and 129.65, while their rates in Pakistan are Rs92.83 and 106.57 per liter. He said the government is trying to adjust petroleum prices in line with the international market.

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