LCCI suggests launching of shares of Bhasha and Kalabagh dams in stock markets

Lahore, December 14, 2016 (PPI-OT): The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Wednesday suggested the Ministry of Finance to launch shares of Diamir Bhasha and Kalabagh dams in the domestic and international stock markets to generate huge funds for this mega project.

In a statement issued here, the LCCI President Abdul Basit and Vice President Muhammad Nasir Hameed Khan said that country needs over $ 30 billion for the construction of Diamir Bhasha and Kalabagh dams dam and to make them operational for power generation. International donor agencies and financial institutions are giving different excuses and are reluctant to fund therefore government would have to generate funds from its own resources.

Elaborating the point, the LCCI office-bearers said that around $ 14 billion would be required for only construction of Diamir Bhasha dam while other expenses of $ billions would also be occurred besides the cost. They said, around 150 KM area of Karakorum High way would have to be reconstructed with the cost of $ 6 to 7 billion. Around $ 3 billion more would be required for transmission line from Diamir Bhasha to national grid. They said that collectively more than $ 20 billion would be required for construction of Bhasha dam.

“Basha and Kalabagh dams will collectively produce 8000 MW of electricity through environmentally clean hydropower generation, will store 15 million acre feet of water that would be used for irrigation and drinking and would control flood damage by the River Indus downstream during high floods and extend the life of Tarbela dam located downstream by 35 years. Both the dams would also reduce dependence on environmentally damaging thermal power, thus saving environment and foreign exchange”, the LCCI office-bearers added.

They said that through launching of shares of Diamir Bhasha and Kalabagh dams in the domestic international stock markets, government could earn billions of dollars as these are one of the most attractive projects for the investors. They said that Diamir Bhasha dam would give benefits of billions of dollars to the national economy and investors are always interested in the profitable projects. They said that Ministry of Finance must consider the idea of launching shares for Diamir Bhasha Dam that could gain the attraction of the international investors above the expectations.

The LCCI President Abdul Basit said that economic growth is dependent on low-cost power generation therefore all possible measures should be taken on war footing. He said that said that power generation through thermal means would not be doing any service to the trade, industry and economy even if we start producing 50,000 MW electricity through thermal resources as it would not be affordable for the businessmen. He said that power generation through hydel, gas, furnace oil and nuclear resources costs Rs.1.5, Rs.6.5, Rs. 16.5 and Rs. 5.5 per unit respectively. He said that Diamir Basha and Kalabagh dams would bring back their construction cost within a few years. Abdul Basit said that dams are a must to control the poverty and hunger. He that the existing dams are constantly silting up leaving ever decreasing capacity to store water therefore there is a dire need to construct more dams.

He said that launching of shares of Diamir Bhasha and Kalabagh dams in the domestic and international markets is a practicable idea therefore Ministry of Finance should constitute a team experts from the government, stock markets and private sectors in this regard at the earliest.

For more information, contact:
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-111-222-499
Fax: +92-42-36368854