Pak Affairs Science & Technology

Qaim for early decision on Thar Coal project

KARACHI: Thar Coal & Energy Board is the only notified legal and authorized body to exercise all powers for deciding the matters and aspects pertaining to mining and power generation for Thar Coal in the province of Sindh. This was clarified by Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah while presiding over a high level meeting in connection with “Thar Coal” held at Chief Minister House yesterday.

He said that the only legal body which exists is Thar Coal & Energy Board and all other matters and schemes, projects will be discussed and processed by the Board. It was informed that TCEB has full support of President of Pakistan Mr. Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani, and Thar Coal & Energy Board will deliver the good results under the objectives of the Board. Syed Qaim Ali Shah also maintained that Gorakh Hill Station, being developed as a tourist resort, will soon be completed and opened for tourists and people.

It was informed that work on Gorakh hill station is going on in speedy manners. He added that work on Keenjhar tourist spot will be finalized soon. He also said that work on Hyderabad – Mirpurkhas dual carriage road will also be started soon.

Earlier, in a briefing it was informed that the proposal for Thar Coal Mining Company was floated in October 2006 by placing it in CDWP and Government of Sindh objected before CDWP meeting through the then Minister, Mines and Mineral Development. Previously the Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission made a presentation to the Prime Minister and President of Pakistan on “Energy Security Action Plan” on 15.2.2005, wherein the recommendations for the establishment of National Integrated Coal Mining and power generation authority like WAPDA (could a joint venture of Government of Pakistan, Government of Sindh and local/foreign private sector) was approved.

Earlier, it was proposed that a Pakistan Coal Development Company, with an investment of Rs.2 billion from the Government of Pakistan, be formed to establish the initial framework to attract foreign investment for coal which was initially attempt to take over the coal resources of Sindh. The establishment of Thar Coal Mining Co was approved by CDWP on 19.10.2006 at the estimated cost of Rs.241.790 million including FEC of Rs. 23.700 million.

The meeting was further informed that the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural resources in its letter dated 10.6.2007, launched a company namely “Establishment of Thar Coal Mining Company” with 80% share holding for Federal Government i.e 20% share for Ministry of P&NR, 20% share for NLC and 40% share for private sector; and only 20% share for Sindh Government.

It was further informed that under the letter from Mines & Mineral Development Department; the Federal Government vide its Notification dated 8.7.2008, Thar Coal Authority was constituted, which abolished the Thar Coal Mining Company. Later another notification was issued on 11.10.2008 for withdrawal of Thar Coal Authority after constitution of “Thar Coal & Energy Board”. The meeting was further informed that CDWP approved two similar schemes of coal gasification and revived TCMC without any consultation from provincial government.

The meeting was also informed that the CDWP approved two similar schemes of coal gasification and also revived Thar Coal Mineral Company, without any consultation from the provincial government. It was further informed that the Sindh Government raised objection vide letter dated 8.5.2009 by conveying serious objections and reservations to the Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, and the Chief Minister Sindh, who is also the Chairman of Thar Coal & Energy Board, had also talked the Prime Minister regarding the situation.

The meeting was attended among others by Sindh Minister for Irrigation & Power Syed Murad Ali Shah, Sindh Revenue Minister Jam Saifullah Dharejo, Sindh Minister for Law & Parliamentary Affairs Mr. Muhammad Ayaz Soomro, Chief Secretary Sindh Mr. Fazal-ur-Rehman, Additional Chief Secretary (P&D) Mr. Nazar Hussain Mahar, Secretary to C.M Syed Sohail Akbar Shah, Secretary Finance Mr. Fazalullah Pechuho, Secretary Mines & Minerals Mr. Aijaz Ahmed and others. NNI

About the author

Amir Rauf

Amir Rauf is a Business Graduate from LUMS; currently running his Business. He has decided to write on Political Affairs of Pakistan.

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