ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi sent a reference to the Supreme Court for its opinion on Reko Diq project under Article 186 of the Constitution.

The federal cabinet in a meeting held on 30th September, had approved the filing of areference in the Supreme Court, while the president had accorded approval on October 5.

Two questions have been referred to the Supreme Court; whether the earlier judgment of the Supreme Court reported as Maulvi Abdul Haque Baloch v 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?

After reaching an agreement on a framework for the settlement and revival of the Reko Diq Project in March 2022, 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.

Reko Diq project: President accords approval to summary on reference

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).

Balochistan’s share shall be held by a company wholly-owned and controlled by the provincial government.

As part of the prime minister’s vision for Balochistan, the provincial government’s share of capital and operating expenses for the project shall be borne by the centre.

The Balochistan government will not incur any expenses in the development of the mines.

In developing the project, nearly $10 billion will be invested in Balochistan, including $1 billion for social uplift projects - roads, schools, hospitals and the creation of technical training institutes for mining. The investment will create over 8,000 new jobs.

The project will also make Balochistan the largest recipient of foreign direct investment in the country. To ensure optimal utilisation of the nation’s mineral wealth, the government is also considering setting up a smelter.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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Syed Arif Hussain Zahidi Oct 19, 2022 06:44am
How strange ? Alvi forgot that it wS the Supreme Court and the then CJP that got Pakistan in this mess.
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