Businessmen for seeking investment for Bhasha Dam tookashifadmin
LAHORE – As only Rs3 billion have been donated so far for Bhasha Dam Fund while its construction requires around Rs1500 billion, the business community has suggested the government to seek investments instead of just relying on donations for the huge water reservoir.
LCCI Standing Committee on Economic Reforms chairman Kashif Anwar proposed that govt will have to adopt other options like listing the Diamer Bhasha Dams in domestic and international stock markets to generate funds. Investors should be made shareholders for building the dam and government should provide guarantees to attract the investment. He said that by launching shares of Bhasha dam in the domestic and international stock markets, the government could earn billions of dollars as this is one of the most attractive projects for the investors.
According to updates of the SBP, the Dams Fund has received around Rs3 billion so far. The countrywide contribution to the fund stood at Rs2.87 billion while Rs147.6 million was transferred from abroad. Experts said that Diamer-Bhasha Dam is a multipurpose project aimed at water storage, flood mitigation and power generation. The project will generate 4,500 megawatts of electricity with annual energy generation of more than 18 billion units of low-cost and environment-friendly electricity.
Kashif Anwar, who is also former LCCI vice president, also urged the government to ensure cheap energy for the industrial sector which is possible through hydel generation. Along with the huge reservoirs small dams are also needed. He said that investment should be promoted in hydel power projects, asking the IPPs to divert their investment towards hydel projects.
He suggested the government to give exemption from income tax to the individuals as well as the companies for Dam donation. Presently, the FBR has implemented new policy of launching investigation on foreign remittances of over Rs10 million. The government should also announce exemption from investigation on such foreign donations of over Rs10m sent for the Dam from abroad. The new bylaws should be introduced for housing societies to preserve rain water so that water level in big cities should be enhanced, he added.