20 Nov 2009 17:08

Tajikistan population urged to donate month

DUSHANBE. Nov 20 (Interfax) - The parliamentary chairman on Friday urged Tajikistan's population to donate one month's earnings to finish the stalled construction of what would be Central Asia's most powerful hydroelectric power plant and make Tajikistan the region's main electricity exporter.

The Rogun Hydroelectric Power Plant began construction in 1976 but was frozen.

"If all working people of the Republic transfer their earnings for one month to the Rogun fund, the sum will be about $154 million," the parliament speaker, Makhmadsaid Ubaidulloyev, said.

He said he had donated his own salary for one month to the fund already.

"There are about 2.143 million people working in various sectors in Tajikistan, and their average monthly salary is 314 somoni," Ubaidullayev said. It is currently 4.35 somoni to the U.S. dollar.

The government press carries daily reports on remittances to the fund from people in various parts of the country.

At a government meeting on Monday, President Emomali Rakhmon expressed confidence that each "public-spirited and worthy citizen" would make "a contribution they are capable of" to the Rogun fund.