ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi, on the advice of the prime minister has accorded approval to the summary for filing reference to the Supreme Court of Pakistan under Article 186 of the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973 in the Reko Diq project.
Earlier the Apex Committee, headed by Minister for Finance and Tethyan Copper Company Pakistan (Private) Limited shareholders had agreed to a framework for settlement and revival of the Reko Diq Project in March 2022.
The federal cabinet in a meeting held on 30th September 2022 had approved the filing of reference to the Supreme Court of Pakistan under Article 186 of the Constitution with respect to the following questions of law of public importance: Whether the earlier judgment of the Supreme Court reported as Moulvi Abdul Haque Baloch. Federation of Pakistan PLD 2013 SC 641, the Constitution of Pakistan, laws or public policy prevent the government of Pakistan and the government of Balochistan from entering into the Reko Diq Agreements or affect their validity? And if enacted, would the proposed Foreign Investment (Protection and Promotion) Bill, 2022 be valid and constitutional?
The federal cabinet had approved filing a Presidential reference in the Supreme Court to get validation of the new Reko Diq project deal.
The cabinet on Friday had given approval to the filing of the Presidential reference as well as Parliamentary approval of the deal on Reko Diq.
It is believed the chief justice of Pakistan may form a five-judge larger bench to hear the Presidential reference.
Earlier, Barrick Gold Corporation, a Canada-based mining company, had asked the government to get the Reko Diq gold and copper deal stamped by the Parliament and the Supreme Court for the long-term sustainability of the company’s investment in the project.
Barrick Gold Corporation has expressed a strong interest in investing in Gwadar for the import and export of various minerals.
According to the settlement, 50 per cent of the new project’s shares would be owned by Barrick Gold, while the remaining shares would be owned by Pakistan, divided equally between the federal and the Balochistan governments.
The federal government’s share of 25 per cent will be divided equally among three state-owned entities - the Oil and Gas Development Corporation Limited (OGDCL), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), and Government Holdings Pakistan Limited (GHPL).
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022