A two-day Inter-Governmental Council (IGC) meeting for the import of electricity to Pakistan under the Casa-1000 project commenced in Dubai on Wednesday.
Delegations from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, World Bank, USAID, Islamic Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, International Finance Corporation and the Arab Bank are participating in the conference. The Federal Minister for Water and Power will be leading the Pakistani delegation in the second session of the IGC, scheduled to be held today (Thursday).
After the meeting, an agreement will be signed between countries and donors.
According to a message received from the Pakistani Embassy in UAE, Hilal Raza – adviser on Energy Import, Ministry of Water and Power – said an energy sale arrangement should be arrived at between buyers and sellers at the earliest. The project holds immense importance for Pakistan, he said. He assured participants that the Pakistani government is taking all possible measures to complete the project.
The World Bank representative stated that the Bank is providing all financial, technical, coordination and secretarial assistance for Casa-1000. World Bank has further proposed that project construction start by February 2014, the representative informed delegates. All procedural requirements like bidding, hiring of consultants will be completed by that time, he affirmed.
Afghan minister Ismail khan promised complete security for the project; while, in his opening statement, Tajik minister Gul Sherali stated that all parties are diligently working to implement the Casa-1000 project.
Pakistan will import 1,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity under the Casa-1000 project; while Afghanistan will import 300 MW from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The four countries have already signed an agreement in this regard on August 4, 2008.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 17th, 2012.