PM’s media office issues a clarification pertaining to Baghdad Metro and Najaf-Karbala Express Train

  • 14-02-2024, 09:26
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    INA-  Baghdad

    Media Office of the Prime Minister issued a statement of clarification obtained by the Iraqi News Agency INA that reads, “Following the announcement of the two grand projects, Baghdad Metro and Najaf-Karbala Express Train, there has been circulation of false and inaccurate information through several media outlets and social media platforms. In light of this, it is essential to provide clarification to the esteemed public by stating the following facts:
     1- The approved consultant for the projects is an alliance comprising the Malaysian company HSS and its regional partner CHSS, responsible for implementing projects in the Middle East and North Africa region. With decades of global experience in train systems and infrastructure operations, they were selected following an extensive review of similar projects and successful past experiences. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Embassy of the Republic of Iraq in Malaysia has officially documented the company's information and work.
     2- As part of the government's commitment to selecting the most effective methods for implementing vital programs, a specialized government team was formed comprising representatives from relevant entities such as the Ministry of Planning, the Ministry of Transportation, the Mayoralty of Baghdad, and the top advisors specializing in transportation affairs. After thorough analysis, the economic contract model was revised from government budget implementation to investment by international companies. This approach ensures that both projects are executed without burdening the government budget, departing from previous proposals that relied on government implementation.
     3- Due to the requirement for advanced international expertise in implementing the two strategic projects, the government recognized the necessity of leveraging global knowledge. Consequently, contracts were established with HSS and CHSS for an amount lower than that approved in Cabinet Resolution No.(23753), which was based on the previous economic model of government implementation. The contract with the Consultative Alliance was specifically tailored to audit and supervision tasks for the government's benefit. This approach will lead to cost reduction and ensure the acquisition of the best specifications for this crucial and extensive project. Following professional technical and legal negotiations, it was mutually agreed that the value of the consulting contract would not exceed 0.6% of the total project value, falling below the maximum limit stipulated in the government contract implementation guidelines, set at 0.8%. Furthermore, it is confirmed that the consulting contract amount will be covered by the project investor in the future, alleviating the burden from the government.
     4- During the ceremony announcing the two projects, all this information was conveyed through illustrated films. Additionally, clarifications were provided during interviews by the Mayor of Baghdad, the Advisor to the Prime Minister for Transport Affairs, and officials from the Ministry of Transportation.”
    Having stated all the above mentioned clarifications, the statement further said that “We urge the media to ensure accuracy in reporting and to verify information from official sources to prevent the dissemination of incorrect information,” assuring that “In doing so, we underscore the importance of the media and its capacity to contribute to economic progress and national service.”