KARACHI - Sindh government would give a loan of Rs900 million to Sui Southern Gas Company for the provision of gas to villages and towns of the province, The Nation learnt on Tuesday. The SSGC will return this loan with 4 per cent mark-up rate in 12 years, an official of Sindh government said. Sindh government and the SSGC have already finalised the terms and conditions of the project and a formal agreement likely to be signed in the end of this month. The details of the loan and the project were finalised in a meeting regarding gasification of towns and villages of Sindh under the Chairmanship of Additional Chief Secretary Planning and Development Department Nazar Muhammad Mahar held recently in Karachi which was also attended by the officials of SSGC and provincial government. The project of gasification of villages and towns of Sindh will be completed in financial years 2008-09 and 2009-2010. The Additional Chief Secretary of P&DD directed the Finance Department to take immediate necessary action in connection with signing of loan agreement between Sindh government and SSGC, official said and confirmed that the representative of Finance Department had agreed that the agreement would be signed within a few days. According to details of the proposed agreement a list of priority schemes for the provision of gas to villages and towns was to be prepared after the approval of the Chief Minister of Sindh. It is recalled that Finance Department of Sindh initially proposed increase in the mark up rate from 2 per cent to 8 per cent, but the SSGC did not agree to it and insisted for 2 per cent mark up only. Finally, both the parties agreed to 4 per cent mark-up rate on this loan. It may be noted that the SSGC is a national company being run under the federal government. Keeping in view the limited resources with SSGC, it was not possible for company to provide gas facility to all the villages and towns of Sindh province. The SSGC had provided gas facility to 15 villages and towns in last FY08 while out of them, 7 villages were identified by the present government and remaining by the caretaker government, official concluded.