PTI government mulls new $5.9 billion deal

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PTI government mulls new $5.9 billion deal

ISLAMABAD - The government is in the process of striking a deal on the Reko Diq issue but the details are yet to be finalised, according to a senior finance ministry official, reported *Business Recorder*.

According to the report, Advisor on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Anwar Mansoor Khan flew to London for a meeting with the Reko Diq board on October 14, 2019. A spokesman for the Finance Ministry, in response to a question with regard to a pay out of US$1 billion to the company, stated that there is nothing final yet and “things are in pipeline”.

The AGP told the newspaper that “the matter is confidential and therefore I can’t share anything about it. I will not confirm or deny your query.”

In a recent *Bloomberg *report, it was claimed that officials at the provincial Balochistan government met with a consortium of four business groups including tycoons Arif Habib and Muhammad Ali Tabba who are willing to invest about $1 billion of their own cash in the project.

The report stated that the consortium is willing to go through a bidding process to take over the project.

On July 13, 2019, International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes announced a $5.976 billion award against Pakistan in the Reko Diq case with $4.08 billion penalty and $1.87 billion interest to TCC, a joint venture between Chile’s Antofagasta Plc and Canada’s Barrick Gold, who had filed a lawsuit in 2012 against Pakistan in the international court of settlement after the Reko Diq contract awarded to it was suspended.