US deputy osecretary assures support in energy, education sectors

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ISLAMABAD: US Deputy Secretary of State William J Burns here on Friday assured the complete support by United States to Pakistan for development of energy, agriculture, education and health sectors. oThe Deputy Secretary of State called on Minister for Finance, Muhammad Ishaq Dar here today and discussed issues of mutual interests.He informed the minister that his visit to the US has left a lasting impression about his vision and there was appreciation for the economic policies of Pakistan in Washington DC. oHe appreciated the economic policies of the government and said that the economic indicators are improving with the results better than expected adding that Pakistan’s economy is now in the right direction.oThe finance minister briefed him on the outlook of the national economy and the encouraging positive trends in the economic indicators during the last 10 months. oHe said that with the prudent policies of the government, the direction of the economy has been set to move forward in the upward trajectory.oThe minister also informed the Deputy Secretary of State about Prime Minister’s fruitful visit to the United Kingdom and his meetings with the high officials in London. oThe Deputy Secretary of State was also informed about Asian Development Board, Board of Governor’s meeting at Astana in which Finance Minister represented Pakistan. oFinance Minister also highlighted his recent interaction with the IMF officials in connection with 3rd review of the IMF for Pakistan program and appreciated the cooperation of the United States for developmental projects in the multilateral donors’ community.Ishaq Dar also thanked the United States for providing a platform for raising funds for the construction of Bhasha Dam and said that the government is coming up with a proactive energy policy to invite new investment in energy sector with a special emphasis on the renewable and cheap energy sources.oThe minister appreciated role of the Deputy Secretary of State for upcoming reimbursement of Collation Support Fund which will be released during this month and expressed the hope that pending claims will be expedited. He also drew attention of Mr. Burns to US Exim Bank’s policy of lending to regional countries for a period of 20 years without sovereign guarantee whereas in the case of Pakistan the lending is being made for only seven years and that too with sovereign guarantee. oHe urged the Deputy Secretary of State for provision of level playing field by the US Banks for global investors to invest in Pakistan.oThe Deputy Secretary of State expressed the hope that import of live animals from the US will be allowed by the government. oIn this regard, the Finance Minister said that the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet would take appropriate decision in this regard. 

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