According to Pakistani Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, the country needs an investment of about $30 billion for completion of various mega water sector and hydropower projects. These projects would help in provision of power at affordable prices. The minister expressed these views in a seminar on public-private partnership (PPP) and its role in management of water resources on January 5, 2009.

Ashraf said that the PPP was an alternative for procuring public sector involvment in a medium to long-term relationship between the public and the private sector thereby mobilising private sector capital and management to plan, implement and operate infrastructure project.

The minister said that Mangla dam raising project was nearing completion and the work on Neelum Jhelum hydropower project had begun. The design and feasibility study of Diamer Basha dam had been completed and was now being offered for open international competitive bidding.

Kurram Tangi dam construction in southern North Western Frontier Province was moving forward. The minister said that the government had determined to start construction of large and small dams in the country on priority basis. These projects would generate more than 10,000 megawatt (MW) of hydropower.

He said that canal closure had taken placeand that all efforts were underway to compensate for the loss of hydro generation through different means.

On the construction of Kalabagh dam, the minister said, “We will not go to constructing any such dam which is controversial and the government is planning several other mega projects in this sector like Diamir-Bhasha Dam.”

He continued that the country was facing acute power shortage due to gap between demand and supply as power consumption was increasing. Ashraf assured that by December 2009 the government would include 3,500 MW electricity in the system. He assured that there will be no load shedding after December 2009 and that the government would overcome power deficiency.