ISLAMABAD  - World Bank Country Director Rachid Benmessaoud on Monday said that WB is expected to approve assistance worth around $700 million for Dasu Hydel Power Project that would generate 4600MW electricity. He said this while talking to Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar at the Finance Ministry. Both the sides also discussed issues related to World Bank assistance to Pakistan.

Pakistan aims to construct 4600MW run-off-river hydropower project on main Indus River in district Kohistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa. The existing cost of proposed Dasu Hydel Power Project is Rs 735 billion wherein Pakistan is looking for $700 million loan from World Bank. The actual cost of the project was Rs 685 billion, which has upward revised to Rs 735 billion due to the currency exchange rate fluctuation.

According to the official handout issued by Finance Ministry, Senator Ishaq Dar informed the WB Country Director that Pakistan’s economy is moving in the right direction. He said that we would continue to engage with multilateral institutions including World Bank for assistance in energy and infrastructure development programmes initiated by the government.

He added that, in line with the vision of the Prime Minister to make Pakistan developed and prosperous country, the government has embarked upon a plan to meet the energy requirements and to make Pakistan an economically viable country. He emphasized that World Bank’s assistance in energy and developments projects will help Pakistan progress.

WB Country Director said that we are encouraged by the positive trend of the economic indicators. He said that the World Bank is expected to approve the assistance for Dasu Hydel Power Project. He informed that the Managing Director of the World Bank Ms Sri Mulyani Indrawati will be visiting Islamabad in the last week of March to discuss Pakistan development projects. He informed the minister about the preparations being made in connection with her visit. The finance minister expressed hope that the visit will be a successful one and will open the road to co-operation in many areas of mutual interest.

Dr Waqar Masoud, Secretary Finance, Ms Nargis Sethi, Secretary EAD, Special Assistant to Finance Minister Shahid Mahmood and senior officials of the Ministry of Finance also attended the meeting.