ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, is to conduct the third-party cost audit of over Rs 31 billion project - IT Park Karachi - being established by Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom, well-informed sources told Business Recorder.
PTI stalwart, Asad Umar, is the top boss of Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, and Ministry Information Technology and Telecom is headed by MQM’s Syed Amin ul Haque.
On June 4, 2021, Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives briefed the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) on IT Park, Karachi.
It was stated that the project was considered by the Central Development Work Party (CDWP) in its meeting held on May 20, 2021 and was recommended for consideration and approval of the ECNEC at a total cost of Rs 31.12 billion with FEC of Rs 26.479 billion with the following directions to Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB): (i) to create an SPV for the project which shall be responsible for repayment of the loan and O&M cost from the revenues generated by IT Park project as a commercial entity; and (ii) to approach international IT companies and get their willingness/sign MoUs to become anchor tenants in the project.
Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives submitted the project to ECNEC for approval with the recommendations that world class consultants with proven track record should be hired through an international tender and to approach international IT companies and get their willingness/ sign MoUs to become anchor tenants in IT Park Karachi.
During the ensuing discussion, ECNEC observed that the cost of the IT Park, Karachi project was “quite high”. Information Technology and Telecom Division responded that 85% cost of the project was being funded by Exim Bank of South Korea and that cost of the project was, therefore, based on a feasibility study carried out by a consortium of South Korean consultants covering technical, financial, economic, legal, environment aspects of the project. However, it was observed and agreed by ECNEC that the cost of the project may also be assessed through a third party.
After a detailed discussion, ECNEC approved the project with a direction to Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives to carry out cost assessment of the project through a third party.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021