Joao Peixe, August 28, 2011
According to Tajikistan’s Finance Ministry, next year the government will assign more than $223 million of budgetary funds to continue construction of the Rogun hydroelectric facility.
In a statement the Finance Ministry stated, "The country's ministries and bodies are now considering a project of funding the Rogun power plant and a draft state budget for 2012.
The parliament's lower house will adopt the final decision on the state budget, and on the Rogun project, in particular, in November this year, while considering a Tajik draft law 'On Tajikistan's state budget for 2012'," the Avesta news agency reported.
The 3,600 megawatt Rogun hydroelectric power station is situated on the Vakhsh River, 70 miles east of the capital, Dushanbe. If built, it would be Central Asia's largest and would allow Tajikistan to export electricity to both Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Two years ago the Tajik government issued Rogun stock and made it compulsory for citizens to purchase nearly $700 worth of shares, a sum exceeding most Tajiks' annual income, in order to collect $600 million for construction to continue, only abandoning the scheme after the International Monetary Fund criticized the proposal.
Tajikistan’s western downstream neighbor Uzbekistan has harshly criticized the Rogun project, fearing that it could disrupt water flows, needed during the spring and summer for Uzbekistan’s extensive agricultural base.