The CASA 1000 project is reportedly facing a two-year delay due to the withdrawal of the World Bank and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Pakistani media reported, citing sources within the country’s economic ministry.
According to the Business Recorder, a financial newspaper in Pakistan, the discussion regarding CASA-1000 project was held under the chairmanship of the Secretary of Economic Affairs Division.
The meeting was informed that in Afghanistan, the project is at a halt due to the withdrawal of funds/non-extension of grants amounting to $245 million, by the World Bank, after the regime change in Afghanistan, causing a delay in the completion of the project, according to the sources, cited by the Business Recorder.
The Ministry of Economy (MoE) said that the ministry had fully prepared for the implementation of the CASA-1000 project.
“The Islamic Emirate is fully prepared, and we don’t see any obstacle in this regard. But without any doubt there is a need for support including from the World Bank to start and develop this important project,” said Abdul Nazari, the Deputy Minister of Economy.
“Five institutions should support it: the World Bank, the European Development Bank, the US and UK governments as well as the Islamic Development Bank. The total project is less than $1.2 billion,” said Asif Nang, an economist.
CASA-1000 is the biggest regional power project and includes Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“In addition to receiving 300 megawatts of power, Afghanistan would earn between $45 and $50 million from transit fees,” said Amanullah Ghalib, former head of Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat.
“It would provide power with less cost to the country and could also help Afghanistan to increase transit and trade relations with the regional countries,” said Seyar Qureshi, an economist.
Earlier, Reuters reported the construction of the CASA-1000 project has been continuing in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Pakistan but is halted in Afghanistan due to the ongoing situation.