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July 23, 2019

Fine payment

Newspost

 
July 23, 2019

The government has formed a committee to look into the mishandling of the Reko Diq mining case and the imposition of the $5.9 billion fine. This amount includes the $1.7 billion interest payment. I hope that another committee has been setup to negotiate with the TCC to find the best way to pay this fine in our current economic state. One way would be to allow the TCC to start mining operations, considering that they spent five years and $220 million on exploration. It would be the quickest way to get the mine into production. Hopefully, this time the terms and conditions of the contract will be presented in parliament for review.

We have to keep in mind, that for every day of delay, the amount to be paid as interest will go up. If Pakistan is able to amicably resolve this matter with the TCC, any reluctance or inhibitions by other foreign investors about investing in Pakistan would be removed. It is in our interest to develop the mineral resources of the country in joint ventures with foreign investors, since we do not have the capital or the trained manpower to do so ourselves at the present time. In the case of marble mining, the marble is extracted by the blasting method, which results in the wastage of over 60 percent of possible profits. By using mechanical means, much of the wastage would be eliminated and profit margins would become much higher.

Syed Hussain El-Edroos

Islamabad

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