ISLAMABAD - Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar chaired a meeting on issues related to financing of Diamer-Bhasha Dam at the Finance Ministry today. WAPDA Chairman, Zafar Mahmood briefed the Finance Minister of the problems faced by private investors.

In order to remove the obstacles and impediments, Zafar suggested fast track development of the projects under Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. The government of Pakistan may share some responsibilities with the private investors at development and execution stages, he added. He presented

a complete framework featuring financial arrangements for mega power projects. The Minister for Water and Power said that the Ministry was making efforts to enhance power generation in order to reduce the supply and demand gap. He emphasized on hydel led energy mix, capable of providing cheaper electricity to the public.

The Finance Minister said that everyone including the international financial institutions was talking of pursuing either Dasu or Diamer-Bhasha Dam a year ago. After coming into power, the government studied both options and decided to launch both projects simultaneously. He further declared that the government would undertake Bunji, Pattan, Thahkot, Monda, and Dasu II projects too. We will eventually phase out costly thermal generation resulting in reduction of import bill, he added.

He also directed WAPDA Chairman to prepare the whole model in the light of decisions taken in the meeting for final presentation to the Prime Minister.