KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah disclosed on Thursday that the World Bank (WB) has withdrawn its earlier commitment of providing an International Development Association credit of $30 million on May 30, 2012. He also denied that Engro Group has refrained from its joint venture with Sindh government for coal mining in Thar.
In his written reply to the question by Pakistan Muslim League-Functional Nusrat Sehar Abbasi about Engro and WB backing off from their commitments of funding the power project, Shah said that in November 2009, the WB informed that it was not in a position to continue with the Thar coal and power project because of their policy of focusing on low carbon technologies. Accordingly, the project was ordered to a halt on May 31, 2010, he added.
The department has awarded a contract to SGS Pakistan Private Limited to assess the environmental effect of mining activities in Sindh, he told in a written reply to the question of Abbasi.
Providing details on a question by Pakistan Peoples Party’s Farheen Mughal, the chief minister in his written answer said that the environmental impact assessment was approved in March 2006. The cost of the scheme was Rs20 million including contractor’s fee of Rs15 million and Rs5 million for staff related expenditures, purchase of stores and vehicle. The contractor has submitted inception and interim reports on the first phase which are under review by the Evaluation Committee. So far Rs3.395 million have been spent on the research.
The house was informed that no new mining project has been initiated by the Sindh government during 2010-11. The department had initiated a proposal during this period but it was not approved due to shortage of funds.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 15th, 2012.