Dar hopes for early recovery of coalition support fund

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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance, Senator Ishaq Dar Saturday expressed hope that the United States would fast track process of clearing outstanding amount on account of Coalition Support Fund (CSF).

He was speaking to Ambassador Robin Raphel, who called on him at the Finance Ministry here. During the meeting they held discussion on bilateral economic issues and cooperation between the two countries to encourage trade and investment in the region.

They also discussed agenda of the forthcoming meeting of Economic Working Group expected to be held in Washington in April.

A total of $9.9 billion has been received by Pakistan between 2002 and 2012 by a fund which is designed to reimburse Pakistan for the cost of counter-insurgency operations.

There have been gaps in the payment flow due to ups and downs in the diplomatic ties between Pakistan and US ever since al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was killed in a US raid in 2011.

On the occasion, Ishaq Dar reiterated that energy remains one of the highest priorities of the present government.

In this connection, he added, the government had not only announced an Energy Policy, but is also working on fast track to bring out a Hydro Carbon Policy so that indigenous resources can be exploited to reduce the dependence on imported resources.

The finance minister urged on the need to increase technical and technological cooperation between the two countries to help Pakistan exploit its proven hydro carbon resources dilating on the need to work more closely in the field.

He said that addition of 1700 MW in the national grid due to clearance of circular debt had increased industrial growth by five per cent against an average of three per cent during the last five years.

This underscored the need and significance of emphasizing more on the energy sector as it would further accelerate growth in the economy, he added.

Robin Raphel offered United States’ assistance for improving infrastructure and facilities at all borders of the country.

The meeting was also attended by the secretary finance and senior officials of the ministry.

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