ISLAMABAD - Finance Minister Ishaq Dar chaired a meeting on Thursday to review implementation status of the Dasu Hydropower Project. World Bank Country Director Patchamuthu Illangovan was also present on the occasion.

Finance minister highlighted that early implementation of Dasu Hydropower Project Stage-I was a national priority to make affordable power available.

He reaffirmed commitment of the present government to resolve implementation issues and move fast to achieve project completion timeline.

The country director of World Bank expressed appreciation for the government for undertaking this project with strong commitment and assured full support for the financing arrangement of the project.

Ministry of Water & Power and WAPDA officials apprised the meeting that as a result of facilitation by the Ministry of Finance, the issue of provincial tax on land acquisition has been resolved. Thus, the land acquisition process will now be expedited. On the issue of security, the meeting was informed that the Ministry of Interior had been approached and the issue of deployment of FC in the area would be finalized soon.

The meeting was informed that six contracts have so far been awarded while the bidding process of the 7th contract for main works has been completed.

The bids have been opened and are currently under evaluation. The meeting was further updated on the progress of financing arrangement, both domestic and external. The finance minister directed early evaluation of the bids while following due process and ensuring transparency. He directed all stakeholders to ensure expeditious resolution of implementation related issues.

The WB Country Director appreciated the finance minister for his continuous support for resolving operational issues of the Dasu Hydropower Project on fast track basis. He reiterated World Bank's resolve for early implementation of Dasu Hydropower Project.

Senior Officials of Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Water & Power, WAPDA and World Bank attended the meeting.