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Senate approves multibillion dollars gas pipeline deal

in Afghan Business

Senate approves multibillion dollars gas pipeline deal

by Abasin Zaheer

 The Meshrano Jirga, or upper house of parliament, on Tuesday approved the agreement on a gas pipeline running from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan and India.

The Senate okayed the accord on the multibillion-dollar project, also known as TAPI pipeline, after it was placed before the house by the Public Welfare Committee.

Dr. Ahmad Bashir Samim, the parliamentary panel head, said all the 80 members present during the session voted in favour of the agreement that was signed in late 2010.  

He added the Manila-based Asian Development Bank-supported scheme, long delayed by security concerns in the region, would cost around $9 billion (about 450 billion afs). 

A feasibility study for the gas pipeline, which will deliver 34 billion cubic metres of gas annually and earn Afghanistan $430 million a year in transit fee, has already been completed.

Minister of Mines Wahidullah Shahrani, who visited Ashgabat on April 4, held productive talks with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on the project.

Afghan, Pakistani, Indian and Turkmen ministers, as well as an Asian Development Bank representative, are to meet in Ashgabat later this month to discuss the fate of the project.

The pipeline will stretch from Dauletabad gas field though Afghanistan’s Helmand and Kandahar provinces, across Pakistan to the northwestern Indian town of Fazilka.

Under Article 90 of the Constitution, parliament is authorised to endorse or reject Afghanistan’s agreements with foreign countries.

 Source: Pajhwok

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