ECC Approves $500M Eurobonds To Finance Diamer Basha

Ministry Of Water Resources’ Proposal For Issuance Of WAPDA’s Debut $500 Million Eurobonds To Arrange Finances For Diamer Basha

ECC Approves $500M Eurobonds To Finance Diamer Basha
By Shahzad Paracha

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Thursday approved the Ministry of Water Resources’ proposal in principle for the issuance of WAPDA’s debut $500 million Eurobonds to arrange finances for Diamer Basha and Mohmand dams. In this regard, the ECC, with Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh in the chair, directed for working out modalities for the issuance of the bonds in consultation with the Finance Division and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

Minister for Privatisation Mohammad Mian Soomro, Minister for Energy Omar Ayub, Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, Adviser to the PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati, Special Assistant to the PM (SAPM) on Petroleum Nadeem Babar, SAPM on Power Tabish Gauhar, Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi, Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda and SBP Governor Reza Baqir participated in the meeting.

The ECC also approved amendments in the master plan for establishing five terminals, including two LNG terminals, two multipurpose cargo terminals and one integrated container terminal on build–operate–transfer (BOT) basis. Regarding the shelving of LNG air mix projects by Sui companies, the ECC decided that SNGPL may abandon three projects namely Drosh, Ayun and Chitral Town and dispose of the land and equipment with minimal loss possible through an open transparent process.

The Ministry of Energy also presented a summary regarding repayment of GHPL loan and future funding requirements for expenditure in relation to ISGSL gas import and infrastructure projects. GHPL had funded all the expenses of ISGSL through medium-term loan as per ECC’s earlier decision dated December 15, 2016. Various proposals were presented before the forum. The ECC approved the proposals in principle subject to clearance by the High Power Board. Further, the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives presented a detailed presentation on KTP before ECC.

The committee was informed about five Karachi infrastructure-related projects pertaining to water, railway and green bus services. These projects will be completed in the next three years under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), public-private partnership (PPP), Supreme Court (SC) fund and financing from foreign institutes. The forum discussed the plan thoroughly and endorsed, in principle, with the direction to secure approval from all relevant quarters before submission to Cabinet. Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh directed to follow all codal formalities with reference to various components of KTP.

The meeting also approved a summary by the Ministry of Industries and Production regarding duty and tax-free import of cryogenic oxygen tanks to ensure uninterrupted supply of oxygen gas at competitive rates during the Covid-19 pandemic. Similarly, the forum also approved the change in the shareholding structure of the Pakistan Credit Guarantee Company (PCGC). According to the new structure, the shareholding of the Government of Pakistan in the Company has been reduced to 49pc from the earlier 70pc. Any dividends announced by PCGC against shares held by the SBP or any proceeds from the sale of shares in PCGC, held by the SBP, shall be remitted in the government treasury.

Moreover, the ECC also approved a number of TSGs, including Rs757.100 million under Sustainable Goals Achievement Program (SAP), Rs500m for reimbursement of the fee for less developed areas as requested by the HEC, Rs500m for the Ministry of Housing and Works to provide interest-free loans to borrowers under the Prime Minister’s Low-Cost Housing Scheme, Rs4,189 million for the execution of development schemes for Sindh and Balochistan provinces under PSDP and Rs327 million for the AGP to sustain the World Bank’s public financial management and accountability service delivery project during FY21.

This news was originally published at Pakistan Today