Islamabad: Qatar has declined Pakistan’s investment request for a deposit of at least USD 2 billion, media reports said citing sources and added that the had been altered now in a bid to gain Doha’s favour.
According to media portal Business Recorder quoting sources, the middle Eastern country has turned down Pakistan’s finance minister Dr Miftah Ismail’s request for a deposit.
Later on, in a bid to crack a deal, Pakistan’s Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Minister for Economic Affairs, floated an alternate proposal of investment. This comes during the background discussions with officials and action plan sent by Pakistan’s embassy in Qatar to Islamabad, as a follow up of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s visit to Qatar on August 23-25, 2022.
Giving a full account of what happened behind closed doors, the media portal’s sources said, on August 22, 2022, Ismail held a meeting with Qatari Finance Minister Ali bin Ahmad Al-Kuwari and put forward a request for a deposit by Qatar.
Qatari Minister for Finance regretted the possibility of a deposit in his meeting with his Pakistani counterpart. Pakistan was expecting a deposit of at least USD 2 billion from Qatar.
Later, on August 24, 2022, an alternate proposal was floated by Minister for Economic Affairs, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq in his meeting, the sources said.
On August 23, 2022, Musadik Malik Minister of State for Petroleum had a meeting with Qatari Minister of State for Energy Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi to discuss the procurement of LPG by Pakistan.
Both sides also discussed the possibility of re-engagement over cooperation in LNG sector. However, the Qatari side said that it would look into possibilities of it.
The other thing which was discussed was the acquisition of Islamabad and Karachi Airports on the long-term concession basis. Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) side stated that they will only be interested in the lease if it includes Aeronautical income (which is major part of airport’s income).
Any attempt to only lease the retail areas and real estate developments will have limited chance of success.
It has also come to light that the QIA would also be interested to include Lahore Airport in the deal. Pakistan’s Ministry of Aviation will send initial financial and operational data to QIA at the earliest. It will also provide the return on investment, debt/equity coverage and capital requirement. (ANI)