In a historic move, the Gilgit Baltistan government signed its first public-private partnership (PPP) deal with Industrial Promotion Services Company NPak, a commercial arm of AKDN, to build the first river power project in Gilgit Baltistan (GB), a 2.8 MW project in Hunza.
Talking to the media, the Advisor Finance government of Gilgit Baltistan Waqar Abbas Mondoq said that private sector engagement is pivotal for the development in Gilgit Baltistan. This is the first run of the river project in GB, and if it succeeds, the government will replicate future projects on the same model.
Gilgit-Baltistan has the potential to produce more than 45,000 megawatts of hydroelectricity. Pakistan’s total electricity demand from both residential and industrial is 25,000 MW. If the hydropower potential of GB is realized, it will not only meet all requirements of the country but put Pakistan in a position to export electricity to neighboring countries.
This milestone will unlock the massive opportunities available in this region. Through the private sector-led growth model, the Gilgit Baltistan government will facilitate private sector investments in the region. Due to no legal cover for private sector investments, Gilgit Baltistan so far did not have any large scale investments. PPP will now provide a legal framework and facilitate large-scale investment in the region.
Gilgit Baltistan is currently relying on a 100 percent federal grant. The rollout of PPP will strengthen the revenue base of the GB government as well as reduce its dependency and burden on the federal government budget. The Advisor Finance further added that a significant number of investments will be routed to the region through PPP mode in tourism and other sectors.
The agreement was signed by CEO NPAK Mansoor Dhanani (Industrial Promotion Services) and Secretary Water and Power Govt. of GB Sajjad Haider. The signing ceremony was attended by Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan, Chief Secretary Gilgit Baltistan, Director NPAK IPS, Advisor Finance Gilgit Baltistan, Additional Chief Secretary Gilgit Baltistan, and senior officials from both parties.