Govt to give Rs204bn Sukkur-Hyderabad Motorway to the private sector on a BOT basis

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ISLAMABAD: The government on Thursday decided to handover Rs204 billion worth of Sukkur-Hyderabad Motorway to the private sector to finance, build and operate it for 25 years and sought expedited mineral development through coordinated guidance to the provinces.

The decisions were taken at two separate meetings presided over by Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar.

Under the decision, the “private party will finance construction of the project, operate it for a defined concession period and transfer it back to National Highway Authority (NHA), at no cost at the end of concession period of 25 years,” a senior government official said who attended a meeting of the board of directors of Public-Private Partnership Authority (PPPA).

Secretary Communications Jawad Rafique Malik and NHA Chairman Sikandar Qayyum briefed the meeting on the plans for the construction of Sukkur-Hyderabad Motorway (M6) on the build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis.

The meeting considered the transaction structures of Public-Private Partnership Projects of Sukkur-Hyderabad Motorway and the National University of Science & Technology (NUST) Teaching and Research Hospital.

The Sukkur-Hyderabad Motorway M6, a project under the NHA, is estimated to cost Rs204.28bn and take 33 months to complete. The 300-km motorway project starting from Sukkur will pass through Khairpur, Naushehro Feroze, Nawab Shah, Matiari, Hala and Jamshoro and terminate at Hyderabad.

An official announcement said the NHA team gave a detailed briefing on the proposed transaction structure for the project which had been designed in consultation with the PPPA. After a detailed discussion, the board approved the transaction structure for the project based upon the recommended option in the feasibility.

The board also considered a proposal of NUST for the construction of a teaching and research hospital (NTRH) on the BOT basis in the PPP model. The board after thorough deliberations cleared the project for implementation on a BOT basis. It was also decided that the hospital would have a public welfare element and also cater to the treatment requirements of Sehat Insaf Card holders.

Separately, the minister while reviewing the role and functions of the Pakistan Mineral Development Board (PMDC) also decided to hold consultations with the provincial government and various chambers of commerce and industries for expedited exploration and development of mineral resources for maximum revenue generation to both the center and its federating units.

Umar said the consultations were necessary for coordinated efforts to ensure accelerated exploration and development of indigenous mineral resources, especially the large-scale mining, value-addition and promotion of downstream industries.

He advocated a uniform policy and regulatory framework across the country to attract private sector investment in the sector. He agreed that while minerals were a provincial subject, the federal government could help and support the development of the sector by aligning its various policies towards that objective.

He said the federal government would support the federating units to improve the mineral sector’s contribution to the country’s gross domestic product and hoped that both the public and private sectors would come forward for optimum exploitation of indigenous mineral resources.

PMDC’s managing director briefed the meeting on the operations of the corporation and explained the roles and responsibilities of federal and provincial departments, the development of impediments and their remedial measures. The meeting was informed that the board and management of the organization had been revamped to make it a vibrant institution.

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