Sample Rogun power station shares on display

Samples of shares in the Rogun hydroelectric power station are being displayed to the public in Tajikistan. They go on sale at the beginning of next year and incorporate four levels of security features to prevent forgery.

Nigina Sharipova

2009-12-12

TAJIKISTAN — Samples of shares in the Rogun hydroelectric power station have gone on public display in Tajikistan. In presenting the share certificates at a cabinet meeting that broadcast on state television, Minister of Finance Safarali Najmuddinov announced that the shares would incorporate four levels of security features to prevent forgery.

“The share certificates will be sold through banks, the financial departments of the president’s executive office, ministries, departments and other government institutions,” he said. “They will be printed in Germany, where the national currency also used to be printed.”

The shares will be purchased on a voluntary basis in theory, but in practice, a massive advertising campaign has already been launched on all television channels and the press. President Emomali Rahmon is taking every opportunity to urge Tajiks to become involved in construction of the country’s largest energy facility, which will assure the country of energy independence. Civil servants and managers at various levels of authority view this as a call to action, and realise that their jobs may depend to a large extent on the amount of certificate sales they can generate.

Articles about individuals who have already contributed money to building Rogun appear in the press daily. On Dec. 7, it was announced that a group of Tajik citizens living in Russia’s Irkutsk Province intend to purchase US$100,000 worth of shares and Tajik Railways plans to buy $10 million worth.

Inhabitants of Khujand, the capital of the Sughd Province, joined in the campaign on Dec. 8, and media have not remained on the sidelines. The editors of Jumhuriyat, a state newspaper, announced their intention to contribute a month of their employees’ wages to the “construction project of the century.” Executive director of Tajnews agency Saimuddin Dustov has vowed to buy one share per day.

Last week, President Rahmon called on every family to buy approximately US$700 in shares.

”There is no way everyone can invest that amount in the construction, even if it is such a necessary facility,” said one expert who wished to remain anonymous. “Of course, the money must be found by all possible means, but it is not very likely that people will voluntarily give up one month’s wages.” In his view, there are many people who will be unhappy about this “voluntary-compulsory” initiative, but will be unable to admit this openly. “Those who are unhappy about it will be declared enemies of the nation, as the campaign is being waged under national independence slogans,” the expert concluded.

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