‘IP pipeline project to cost $3-4bn’
* Minister for petroleum says project to start within next 3 to 4 years
By Zeeshan Javaid
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Naveed Qamar said total estimated cost for Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project is $3-4 billion and this project would start likely in the next three to four years, while Turkmenistan gas pipeline project will be discussed next month.
While talking to media after addressing the 25th annual general meeting and conference held by Pakistan Society of Development Economists (PSDE) here on Tuesday, he said Pakistan and Iran were going to sign Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline agreement in Istanbul today (Tuesday) and in the next phase the survey of the site and documentation work would start soon.
He said the Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGC) would be responsible to complete this project due to having 50 percent share each in IP gas pipeline project.
Government of Pakistan (GoP) would ensure to provide guarantee of $3-4 billion investment for Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project.
While answering a question, he said no further progress could be achieved on Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline project due to insurgencies in the region but hopefully the project would be launched next month. “We will try our level best to utilise all bilateral options to finalise this project,” he maintained.
The federal minister said the government would prevent Pakistan State Oil (PSO) from bankruptcy and efforts are going on to resolve the circular debts issue. Talking to media he said, the federal government is trying its level best to bring Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan into the economic circle to prevent their concerns over economic predicament in their provinces.
Answering another question, Qamar said the Constitutional Reforms Committee (CRC) has almost completed its work regarding proposed 18th Amendment in constitution, which is likely to be tabled in the ongoing National Assembly (NA) session for approval.
Speaking at the conference, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Dr Ishfaq Ahmed said the country remains thirsty due to water shortage in reservoirs that badly affect the hydel power generation and industrial cum agriculture sector and country suffer due to instable economy.
He said the country has vast reserves of natural resources particularly coal and petroleum products, but due to non-availability of highly qualified human resource and lack of technology, the country is facing load shedding and other energy crisis.
In the welcome address PSDE President Dr Rashid Amjad told participants of the conference that through increasing investments in education as well as vocational and technical sector the country’s economy will become better.
He said effective and productive utilisation of human resources could only guarantee returns on through adequate wages and remuneration, while creation and strengthening the labour market would be helpful to protect the fundamental rights of the people.
He suggested to the government that revenue generation should be raised each year by at least 1 percent to reach at least not yet very respectable tax-to-gross domestic product ratio of 15 percent by 2015.
Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) Chairman Khalid Mirza while presiding over the session, said past development strategies of Pakistan had not delivered high sustainable economic growth rather they only led to boom-bust cycles.
He said high growth periods in the past had been triggered by conducive international developments and increases in foreign assistance.
The 25th annual general meeting and conference would continue tomorrow also.