KARACHI   -   The representatives of World Bank and Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) held separate meetings with Sindh Minister for Works and Services, and Irrigation Syed Nasir Hussain Shah in his office on Thursday and discussed future development projects in different sectors for financing and investment.

In the first meeting Sindh Minister for Local Government Saeed Ghani also joined and discussed infrastructure development projects related to his department.

Special Assistant to Sindh Chief Minister, Ashfaq Memon, Provincial Secretaries for Works and Services Sajjad Hussain Abbasi, for Forests Abdul Rahim Soomro and for Irrigation Jamal Mustafa Syed and other senior officers attended the meeting.

KIA’s Representative Dr Ahmad Idress informed the meeting that his organisation had come up with mega investment programme for Pakistan; with initial investment fund of 20 billion dollars.

And, it was interested to invest in various sectors in Sindh mainly in infrastructure including roads network, energy, desalination, food security and fisheries under different investment modes that is, public-private partnership and independent power producers (IPP), build, operate and transfer (BOT), and build operate and own (BOO) basis. The mode of investment would depend on viability of the projects. However, he said, these projects would might require guarantees and mechanism of recovery.   He said Kuwait had made investment in different sectors in Pakistan since 1960 and had collaboration with many companies here like Meezan Bank, Careem Transport Service and Pak-Kuwait Investment Company. Now, it was, he continued, the second phase of major investment. 

He said KIA had also signed a memorandum of understanding with

Balochistan government for setting up 500 MW power plant. For streamlining the projects and furthering the investment programme, a three-member Coordination Committee headed by Special Assistant to the Chief Minister Ashfaq Memon. It is tasked with finalizing the projects after due consultations with the stakeholders and submit for getting Kuwait investment. Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said Sindh government was focused on food security in the province.

He said that Pakistan Peoples Party’s Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also recently held a detailed meeting of the provincial departments concerned to discuss the issues relating to food security and issued directives to make every possible effort to address this emerging challenge.

Sindh Secretary Forest and Livestock Abdul Rahim Soomro said Sindh Government was interested to develop bio-diversity and a very good echosystem. For Food Security, there was need for developing wetlands, he said.

KIA’s Representative said that his country also focused on food security, and KIA was willing to extend financial and technical assistance to the projects related to the food security. Hence, agriculture and livestock projects including food preservation and range development could be included.

 Sindh Minister for Local Government Saeed Ghani said Sindh Government had partnership with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. He said, “We need another major partners also for fast development including that of katchi abadis.”

He said Sindh was very much prepared to have investment from Kuwait and other foreign investment. Representative of KIA offered that his authority was ready to construct a large number of houses in Sindh with a payment under very easy installments; for example Rs 20,000 a month. This formula had proved very successful throughout the world, he said. Some mega development projects were identified by the Works and Services Department which included the construction of bridge parallel to Guddu Barrage to off-load the traffic load on it.

Dr Ahmad Idress said KIA was interested to invest in different sectors under IPP, PPP and BOT and BOO basis.

This would depend on viability of the projects. However, he said, these projects would might require guarantees and mechanism of recovery. 

The second meeting was the courtesy call by World Bank’s Representative Toru Konishi briefed Sindh Minister for Irrigation, Works and Services Syed Nasir Hussain Shah about the project under Water Sector Improvement programme (WSIP). These included construction of barrage and Sindh Resiliance projects. He informed that under WISP, Ghotiki, Nara and New Phulleli had been rehabilitated, which was appreciated by the Minister and senior officers of Sindh Government.

He said that on the basis of success of WISP, World Bank was ready to support rehabilitation of other canals for improvement of water sector in Sindh. Sindh Secretary Irrigation informed that dollars 450 million projects had been conceived and after approval from the Chief Minister these would be forwarded to the federal government to get finance from the World Bank.

These included echo upgradation of Manchher and Keenjhar lakes and downstream Kotri. Syed Nasir Hussain Shah appreciated the role of the World Bank and Mr. Toru for valuable partnership in water sector of Sindh.