Govt Told To Seek Investments As Well For Bhasha Dam

Govt Told To Seek Investments As Well For Bhasha Dam

Rs3 billion have been donated so far while its construction requires around Rs1500 billion: Kashif Anwer

LAHORE: The business community has suggested the government to seek
investments instead of just relying on donations for the huge water
reservoir as only Rs3 billion have been donated so far for Bhasha Dam
Fund while its construction requires around Rs1500 billion.

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

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.


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