The centre accused the Sindh government on Sunday of delaying a Thar Coal-based power project and said it had not utilised funds provided by the federal government for the Karachi Greater Water Supply project (K-4).
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The federal government hit back at Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah also for “using unwarranted language against the centre” to defend the failures of his own government.
At a public function organised by the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Mr Shah had accused Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of backtracking on promises to provide funds for the war against terror and delaying major provincial projects. On Sunday, the finance ministry reacted to the Sindh CM’s complaints, saying the provincial leaders’ statements “were not based on facts” and made it clear that the funds disbursed by the federal government for the K-4 project had not been utilised by the provincial government, hence more funds would not be issued until previous disbursements were effectively spent. The finance minister’s office refuted the CM’s claims that the federal government had not issued sovereign guarantees for the 1,200MW Sindh-Engro Power Project to Chinese financiers for nearly two and a half years.
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It said the centre had agreed at the outset of the project to issue the sovereign guarantee as soon as the Sindh government agreed to provide a counter-guarantee, as the project was a public-private partnership between the government of Sindh and a private party, Engro. The finance ministry said that the Sindh government had taken a long time to agree to this condition. “As soon as they consented, the government of Pakistan approved the issuance of the sovereign guarantee after proper documentation. This is, therefore, a settled matter,” the finance ministry said. It said the project’s financiers had approached the ministry a week ago for approval of the terms of financing for the rupee portion ($500 million) and issuance of guarantees for the foreign currency portion ($200 million), which were being processed.