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PEC proposes launching of Sukuk bonds for dam investment

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani engineers’ professional body, the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) has advised the government to launch ‘Diamer-Bhasha Dam public limited company’ and launch the company’s shares in the market for public subscription to generate funds for the project.

The PEC is a statutory federal institution for accreditation of engineering education and regulation of engineering profession in Pakistan.

PEC Chairman Engineer Jawed Salim Qureshi, addressing a news conference, said the donations for the dam fund must be used as seed money for the Diamer-Bhasha Dam company. The shares may be issued on the pattern of sukuk (Islamic bonds), he said.

He also claimed that the dam component cost, which was been estimated nearing Rs500 billion, could be slashed by about Rs200bn.

“The designated funds will receive a rainfall of billions of rupees if we are able to wisely design the financing structure, which could then be rolled over to other projects,” he said.

“The Diamer-Bhasha dam is a very attractive project estimated to recover its investment before 10 years to shareholders while its 50 year life would be a net profit to the state as a normal project,” he observed.

He advised that the dam company should have experts from engineering, finance and information technology sectors on the board of directors

The Diamer-Bhasha Dam was approved in 2008 and should have been completed within 10 years but it was sad that groundwork was yet to be started, he said.

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