This refers to the news published on April 26, 2014 about the Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project - with a capacity to generate 969 MW of electricity. “Funds crisis may delay Rs274bn Neelum hydropower project” and “China Gezhouba Group of Companies had served notice to government asking for the immediate release of Rs 10.5 billion otherwise construction would be halted by the current month of April.” I think they are justified to do so because both (previous and present) governments of Pakistan have broken their promise. It is a fact that the work on Neelum–Jhelum Hydropower Project, which is a symbol of Pakistan-China strategic partnership, has almost come to halt due to non-payment of funds to Chinese companies for more than two years. Consequently, Chinese companies also failed to pay Pakistani sub-contractors and suppliers. The stoppage of payments has created financial problems for Chinese companies and Pakistani suppliers/sub-contractors who have obtained funds from banks. This is a serious situation and the government needs to come forward and resolve the issue and provide the funding.

Unfortunately, our past ruler’s self-interests were more important than construction of this national project. What a shame, our previous rulers managed to spend 30-40 billion rupees in their constituencies but failed to arrange Rs.10-20 billion for this project in a year.

The present government is also following in the footsteps of the previous government by not providing funds in a timely fashion. Our fund managers have failed to accord the due priority which this project warranted. I would, therefore, request The Prime Minister and Minister for Finance to provide funds immediately to complete the project.

M.M. HUSSAIN,

Lahore, April 26.