KARACHI: Former finance minister Shaukat Tareen has said that it was unfortunate that the Reko Diq deal wasn’t transparent. In a special interview with Daily Express he said that Reko Diq has one of the largest reserves of gold and copper in the world. He said that the Supreme Court had to intervene in the matter because the agreements were not transparent. Shaukat Tareen said that the element of transparency is always maintained when concluding agreements of national interest. He said that as the matter is before the apex court, this project could get delayed. He added that international investors were getting a negative impression about Pakistan because of this.
He said that the steps being
taken now by the provincial government, to make the agreement transparent, should have been taken when the agreement was being finalised. He said that if the country sells the raw mineral reserves it will get 40 billion dollars in 30 years while if they were to do the refining in Pakistan the income from the project will be seven to eight times of this figure.
Some experts estimate the value of the Reko Diq reserves in excess of 500 billion dollars. He said that there are laws and regulations in Pakistan but conflicts surface because they are not implemented.
The former finance minister said that an investment of three billion dollars is required for the execution of the project, which can be completed with the help of foreign companies only. However, rather than selling the raw material, the contracting company should be required to refine gold, copper and other metals within Pakistan. The refined minerals can then be sold so that maximum income is generated.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 14th, 2011.