Qatar wants to ‘take over’ Pakistan’s airports

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Islamabad, Aug 27 (IANS): Pakistani Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said Qatar was “interested in leasing Pakistan’s airports”.

He was addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Friday.

Miftah said Qatar will invest in seaports, LNG plants and solar power plants, Samaa TV reported.

They are also interested in listing on the Pakistan Stock Exchange, he said.

He denied media reports of the handover of New York’s Roosevelt Hotel and Pakistan International Airline. He said these topics were not discussed.

His statement comes a day after Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif concluded his first official visit to the Gulf kingdom since taking office in April.

The minister said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) board meeting will be held on Monday and will approve the release of the funds.

He affirmed that Pakistan has already fulfilled all the conditions precedent to the disbursement of the loan tranche.

Miftah said the fuel charge adjustment (FCA) that accompanied the August electricity bills was for the month of May. This increases the unit price of electricity by Rs 7, he said.

He said the government had spoken to the IMF about this and decided not to collect FCA from consumers using less than 200 units of electricity. It would cost us nearly Rs 21 billion, he added.

He also said a committee has been formed to consider a discount for consumers using 200-300 units.

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