KARACHI - The Sindh government has asked the Federal government to approach the World Bank for early approval of Thar Coal and Power Technical Assistance Project (TACP-TAP), sources told The Nation on Tuesday. Sources in Federal government confirmed that the Additional Chief Secretary of Planning and Development Department of Sindh Government, in its letter to Federal Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, urged him to take up the matter with the President of the World Bank to emphasize upon him the importance of TACP-TAP and need of its early approval by the World Bank Board. Sources in Federal government, quoting the letter of the Sindh government, said the Thar Coal and Power Technical Assistance Project is a World Bank assisted project being implemented as a partnership between the Province of Sindh (Coal Mining Department), and Government of Pakistan (Coal Fired Power Development). The Provincial component of the IDA financed part of the project is estimated at $25.8 million dollars and the federal component at $4.2 million dollars, however the IDA Credit will finance 100 per cent of identified project costs at $30 million dollars, sources said. Referring the current energy scenario of the country, the Sindh government said that this project is of the paramount importance as its success is likely to open the doors for large-scale international investment in coal to power sector in Pakistan and result in exploiting a cheaper and indigenous source of energy for power generation. The Sindh government in its letter to the Federal Finance Minister also discussed the delay in implementation of project, saying that all previous attempts at bringing international investment in exploiting Thar Coal reserves did not materialize due to policy and regulatory ambiguities, lack of enough technical data such as on-surface and sub-surface water resources in Thar, an absence of a build-out plan for Thar coal blocks and the need for clear definition for roles and responsibilities with regard to Thar and power development. Sources in Federal government sources, quoting the letter of the Sindh government, said this project will help the governments of Sindh and Pakistan in strengthening the enabling policy, legal and regulatory framework and governing institutions for coal-to-power sector, and will assist in attracting qualified private investors who would develop Thar Block one. Meanwhile, the investment in block one coal mine and associated power plants would come from the private sector. The ECNEC at the federal level has already approved the Thar Coal and Power Technical Assistance Project (TACP-TAP), while the government of Sindh has earmarked Rs336 million for the four-year life of the project, of which Rs110 million are part of the ADP for current financial year 2009-10. On the World Banks side, a Project Preparatory Facility (PFF) of $2m has already been approved for this project and preparatory work has already begun, sources in federal government quoted the letter of Sindh, adding that foreign and local consultants have engaged and the work is progressing. However, negotiation for the main project were completed and signed by Economic Affairs Division of Federal Govt, Sindh Govt and WB in May 2009, but the project is yet to be placed before the WB Board for approval, sources said.