Pakistan is marketing its largest ever project the Diamer-Bhasha Dam for private sector financing in a dedicated Business Opportunity Conference organized by USAID in Washington. This is a ‘Sell Pakistan’ initiative, offering a great business opportunity to global investors. This has been approved by the Prime Minister and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Water and Power Minister Khawaja Asif are leading the marketing team. This is the first attempt by Islamabad to offer a major infrastructure project to international investors on a commercial basis. Based on the conference feedback the Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet will be approached for forming a comprehensive policy for mega hydropower projects.

If all goes well, more projects can be sequenced like the Ghazi Barotha Hydropower Project. If these projects are cost effective and attractive to investors, then Pakistan won’t have to borrow loans and financing will be easier. The plan is to offer Diamir-Bhasha dam to investors for financing by June 2015 with the project completion deadline set by June 2024. The Prime Minister has allowed the set up of the Diamer-Bhasha Dam project company and after formal approval by the ECC it can be registered with SECP and then work can commence. Let’s hope this endeavor proves successful.

AMJAD KHAN,

Lahore, October 9.