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Apex court is custodian of dam fund : Supreme Court

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  1. ghazi52

    ghazi52 PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    Apex court is custodian of dam fund: SC

    June 2, 2020


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    Says money will be made available to Wapda whenever it requires.

    ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has said that it is custodian of the entire fund collected for construction of water reservoirs in the country and the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) can make use of it whenever it wants.

    A five-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed, made this observation on Monday while hearing a sou motu case regarding construction of Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams.

    Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams fund was created by former CJ Mian Saqib Nisar, who had also started sou motu proceedings for construction of dams in order to forestall a water crisis in the country.

    Resuming hearing of the case on Monday after a gap, the court ordered the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to present details of all the funds collected for the dams in other countries.

    The SBP official told the court that if the dam fund was invested in stocks, it could generate more profits but at the same time such investment entailed risks. They said currently the fund is invested in products that are more secure and yet profitable.

    They told the court that SBP had written letters to foreign embassies to gather more fund for the purpose from overseas Pakistanis. CJ Ahmed asked the SBP to talk to embassies via phone rather than writing letters.

    Justice Ijazul Ahsan, a member of the bench, said if a Pakistani wants to deposit fund from a place where there is no Pakistani bank then in that case the relevant embassy must be aware of the money transferred to Pakistan.

    The CJ asked Wadpa to resolve all land disputes in connection with the dams, noting that Usmankhel and Burhankhel tribes had claim over some of the area where Mohmand Dam is to be built.

    Wapda official told the court that on that piece of land only 32 families are residing. They said in the first phase of dam construction, Wapda does not need that land.

    During the hearing, the additional attorney general told the court that the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) has not yet green-lighted Mohmand Dam.

    The CJ noted that Wapda has already awarded contract for construction on Diamer-Bhasha Dam.

    Wapda’s counsel’s told the court that construction work on the dam has been started. Wapda chairman also appeared before the bench and said Diamer-Bhasha Dam will complete by July 2028.

    Wapda’s counsel told the bench that work on Mohmand Dam was also under way according to the schedule. “The first unit of the dam will become operational in 2024 while its third unit will complete by July 2025. There is no problem with regard to supply of fund for the project,” he said in reply to a query.

    “The on-time completion of the dams will be a great achievement. The people of Pakistan are thankful to all the people associated with construction of the dams,” CJ Gulzar said.

    The bench later adjourned hearing for six months.
     
  2. ghazi52

    ghazi52 PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    June 2, 2020

    Dam Fund: Supreme Court summons foreign remittances record


    ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has sought details from the State Bank of Pakistan of money sent from abroad for the dams fund.

    A five-member bench, led by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, and comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Faisal Arab, Justice Ajazul Ahsan and Justice Muneeb Akhtar heard the case on Monday.

    The chief justice said the court would not allow any injustice in the dam affairs. He said the land issue for the dams should be resolved. Usman Khel and Burhan Khel tribes are party to the land for the Mohmand Dam. He said completion of the dams on time would be a big achievement.

    Wapda authorities told the court the contractor has started work on the Mohmand Dam. When the chief justice asked about the latest situation of the Mohmand Dam, the additional attorney general said the approval for the dam is pending with the CDWP. On this, the chief justice asked when the construction work on the Bhasha Dam would be complete.

    The Wapda counsel said work has been started on the Diamer Bhasha Dam and work on the Mohmand Dam is under way as per schedule. He said the contract for the Diamer Bhasha Dam has already been awarded. The first unit of the Mohmand Dam will be operational in 2024.

    SBP officials said if the dams money is invested in the stock exchange, there will be a danger of loss in expectation of big profit. Where the dams money has been invested, there is a reasonable profit as well as security. They said letters have been written to the embassies for submission of donations.

    The chief justice said: “Letters won’t work, you will have to talk on phone.” Justice Ajazul Ahsan said if a Pakistani wants to send money from a place where there is no Pakistani bank, the embassies concerned should be aware of money transfers.

    The court adjourned the hearing for an indefinite period.