New York, September 27, 2013 (PPI-OT): Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar held a meeting with the US Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, Ambassador Carlos Pascal and discussed ways and means to overcome energy crises in Pakistan that was hampering economic growth. They also discussed the macroeconomic challenges faced by the new government.
The Minister informed that the new government inherited a huge fiscal deficit, skyrocketing circular debt and declining revenues in real terms. He apprised the US Envoy about the actions taken by the new government in first 100 days.
“The government has taken tough decisions and increased tariff which had been kept constant for last 15 months due to political expediency” the Minister said. At the same time the government took the bold step of clearing the circular debt which resulted in addition of 1700 MW of electricity in the system, he added.
Finance Minister observed that as the result of steps taken by the government, the energy sector has become attractive for foreign investment. The energy mix in the country had shifted adversely over a period of years and the government was therefore looking for exploring options for producing cheaper energy from coal, gas and hydel sources.
Ambassador Pascal appreciated the steps taken by the government to resolve energy crisis. He agrees that Pakistan needed to adopt a multi-pronged strategy. Both sides agreed to work together and set a timeline to expand the supply of gas and electricity. Finance Minister said that our aim is to correct our energy mix in the shortest possible time and we will appreciate US help in achieving this goal.
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