September 13, 2013
The Sub-Committee of the Standing Committee on Finance expressed serious concerns over the loss to national exchequer due to Saindak and Reko Diq projects in Balochistan and recommended to the authorities to review the agreements of the two projects.
The Sub-Committee met with Sardar Fateh Muhmmad Muhmmad Hassani in the chair at Parliament House on Thursday. The members of the Sub-Committee expressed dissatisfaction over multi-billion-dollar agreements signed with international companies on Saindak and Reko Diq and asked the government to revisit agreements. The committee members had an impression that the Chinese company was perhaps involved in some malpractices in relation to copper and gold reserves in Saindak.
Senators Muhmmad Hamayun Khan Mandokhel, Kalsoom Perveen, Secretary Petroleum Abid Saeed and high officials of Planning Commission and the Geological Survey of Pakistan attended the Committee’s meeting. The Sub-Committee summoned Secretary Finance and Secretaries for Mines and Industries of Balochistan. The Sub-Committee summoned five officers appointed for monitoring the projects in its next meeting. The Sub-Committee also directed the project authorities to submit audit reports of the projects.
Senator Muhmmad Hamayun Khan Mandokhel told Business Recorder that Saindak Cooper and Gold mining project agreement had undermined rights of the local people and failed to create employment and overcome poverty in the province. He said the conditions of local employees were miserable and they were facing 7a lack of basic facilities.
He said the government should make investment itself in such projects instead of giving contracts to foreign investors. He said the company was getting more benefits from the resources of Balochistan than the local people of the province. The members also gathered an impression that Pakistan was perhaps not aware of the exact potential of costly ores of copper and gold and that the authorities had no option but to believe the Chinese company.
During the briefing about Reko Diq project, the Sub-Committee was conveyed that infrastructure of the project had been damaged and there was no proper record of scrap of gold and copper reserves. The record of the project showed a loss to the national exchequer. According to a government official, Reko Diq area of Balochistan has gold and copper reserves of over five billion tons worth over dollar one trillion. Courtesy Business Recorder
Published in ZaraiMedia.com