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Agreement with Hubco in sight

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    Agreement with Hubco in sight

    More positive news on prospects for the Pakistani economy! The CE has almost managed to conclude an agreement with the last (and biggest) of the IPP's, thereby repairing the huge damage Nawaz Sharif did to this sector and the investment environment in Pakistan.

    Accord reached with HUBCO on tariff

    By Masood Haider

    NEW YORK, Sept 11: The government and officials of Hubco reached what is being termed a "comprehensive and workable" agreement on the price structure acceptable to Wapda, informed sources here told Dawn.

    Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf, who was very anxious that an agreement with Hubco be reached before he left New York, had met the officials of the international power company on Sunday morning asking them to show flexibility.

    He is expected to make the announcement of a comprehensive agreement in Islamabad on his return from the US.

    "The agreement would create an atmosphere conducive to healthy investor-government relationship," said an official. Hubco was the last international power producer holdout and the World Bank officials had stressed that an agreement with IPPs was essential to jump-starting relationships between US investors and Pakistan.

    The broad-based agreement was worked out in a meeting between finance minister Shaukat Aziz and the Hubco officials late on Sunday night and it will be signed, sealed and delivered in Islamabad.

    The meeting on Sunday evening was attended among others by chairman of Hubco, Mehdi Alireza, Eric Salegi of Entergy, Ashraf Tombi of Xenal group, an official of National Power group and the managing director of Hubco.

    A source told "Dawn" that a technical and legal framework worked out between Government of Pakistan (Wapda), and the law enforcement agencies will be drawn out as soon as possible.

    Mr Aziz who refused to comment on the report of the agreement said that the meetings between Pakistani officials and the Hubco management was held in a cordial and friendly atmosphere.

    Islamabad Burea adds: The Chairman of Hubco, has called upon chief executive Gen Pervez Musharraf to complete the process of law by investigating corruption charges against the company.

    According to a press release of Hubco, its negotiating committee including Mr Alireza met the CE in New York on Sunday. The meeting was facilitated by Pakistan's ambassador to the United States at the request of Hubco.

    In the meeting, Hubco's chairman urged Gen Musharraf to address the fundamental principles of international commercial laws that Hubco has put on the table to create a climate in which tariff negotiations can be successful. Those principles include: due process of law (the completion of the corruption charges); the right to international arbitration and the sanctity of contracts.

    Mr Alireza emphasised that these principles will not only set the stage for a resolution of Hubco dispute, but will also send right message to the foreign investors in Pakistan. He urged the CE to take a leadership role in moving the process forward, as it is the belief of the negotiating committee that without the intervention of the CE, the dispute will linger indefinitely.

    Mr Alireza also expressed his desire to resolve the Hubco dispute in a manner that recognizes the financial needs of the country, while also addressing the rights of Hubco shareholders.

    [This message has been edited by Malik73 (edited September 12, 2000).]