Dar apprises OPIC president about progress in Zarb-e-Azb


Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar met with the OPIC President Ms Elizabeth Littlefield in Washington and apprised her about progress in the military operation in North Waziristan.

He also informed her about the restraint exercised by the government in dealing with the protestors in sit-ins where women and children were being used as human shields.

He said that the economy could have been in much better shape in the absence of domestic turbulence. However, the economic revival agenda of the government was on track despite all distractions and the stock exchange had bounced back after an initial dip and currently it crossed 30,000 points.

The finance minister added that Pakistan’s investment portfolio was on track and would further catch up.

The minister expressed Pakistan’s resolve to keep the momentum of structural reforms and the privatization process in order to attain high growth rate. He also reiterated Pakistan government’s commitment and efforts for improving investment climate and making investment and business in Pakistan attractive. Elizabeth Littlefield expressed sympathy for the flood loss in Pakistan.

She informed the finance minister that the OPIC had increased its portfolio in Pakistan fivefold. She apprised the finance minister that many projects were in the pipeline in fields of education, infrastructure and medical funds. She informed that the first instalment on the Sapphire Wind Power plant was to be released soon.

The minister offered all out assistance to OPIC for its projects in Pakistan. He acknowledged OPIC’s support in pipeline projects in the areas of LNG, health education and wind energy.

Littlefield invited the government of Pakistan to identify projects on which the OPIC could help. She also flagged utilising Pakistani-American Diaspora for investment in various projects in Pakistan.

Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani informed that the embassy was hosting a meeting of the Pakistani-American community to tap on their resources and to invite them to play their role in the development of Pakistan.

The finance minister apprised her about efforts of the government to increase the power sector efficiency with better management. He especially mentioned a pilot project in Lahore undertaken to reduce line losses.

He also informed that subsidy in the power sector was only for the domestic users as the government did not want to overburden the common man. The government, he said, had formed a committee to expedite the recovery of dues so as to take care of the circular debt.

He also shared with her the discovery of three gas fields, two in Attock and one in Sindh.