Islamabad: Pakistan will set up a committee to look into the possibility of privatizing the Neelum-Jhelum Power Project in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday, chairing the Cabinet Committee on Energy, expressed his displeasure over the undue delays in the project which also resulted in an increase in costs, Dawn reported.
The committee will also look into the possibility of entering into a partnership with investors to ensure the project’s timely completion. The committee will present its report within three months.
During the cabinet meeting, it was also decided that the project must be completed by the first quarter of 2017.
The Pakistan government has decided to shelve a major power project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that was pushed by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s regime, the media reported on Monday.
Background discussions with government officials suggest that Islamabad has officially conveyed to Beijing that it was no more interested in the 1,320MW Rahim Yar Khan power project in view of sufficient generation capacity already lined up for the next few years, Dawn news reported.
It has requested China to formally delete the project from the CPEC list.
During the 8th Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting held last month, a Pakistani delegation led by Minister for Planning and Development Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar “proposed to remove the Rahim Yar Khan imported fuel power plant (1,320MW) from the CPEC list, in order to provide structure optimisation space for the subsequent power market of Pakistan”, a government official said.
The project was originally pushed as an imported coal-based plant by Quaid-i-Azam Thermal Company of the Punjab government led by former Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
A leading business tycoon had proposed the project and was expected to be one of its key sponsors.
The official said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government has also decided to remove almost 400 “politically motivated” Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) projects as part of a comprehensive mid-year review later this month.
“We are reviewing all such schemes in detail; we do not want to waste public funds where lien has been created or sufficient progress achieved, but we definitely don’t like to throw good money after bad,” a cabinet member told Dawn. (IANS)