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Dar assures support for nuclear power generation projects

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar on Friday chaired a meeting here to review progress of nuclear energy power projects.
Chairman Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) Ansar Pervez briefed the meeting on the status of their ongoing energy projects to tackle the energy crisis. 
He said major groundwork had already been accomplished and orders for equipment had been placed for new projects. He discussed financial aspect of the projects, said a press release.
The finance minister assured the ministry’s full support for nuclear power generation projects. 
He said nuclear plants would provide electricity at cheaper rates as compared to power produced from thermal sources. 
At present, the country was experiencing a widening gap between power supply and demand, leading to extensive outages that disrupted life and business and cut off economic growth by three per cent annually, he added.
Salman Butt, Attorney General of Pakistan, Dr Waqar Masood, Finance Secretary, Barrister Zafar Ullah, Secretary Law, Rana Assad Amin, Advisor to the Finance Ministry and Shahid Mehmood, SA to FM, were also present in the meeting.
Olson calls on Dar: Meanwhile, US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard G Olson called on Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Friday to discuss bilateral economic issues and cooperation between the two countries.
The finance minister thanked the ambassador for the United States’ support to Dasu Hydro Power Project at World Bank Board meeting. 
He said that energy remained one of the highest priorities of the government and in that connection it was working on fast track to utilise indigenous sources to reduce the dependence on imported and expensive sources. 
The minister also discussed CASA-1000 Power Transmission Project and Diamer-Bhasha Dam with the ambassador.
The ambassador congratulated the finance minister on getting unanimous support of the World Bank for Dasu Hydro Power Project. 
He assured the minister that the US would continue to maintain partnership with Pakistan and would work for peace and stability in the region.
He said, “We are looking forward to enhance our existing relations in all areas of mutual interest.”
He informed the minister that the reimbursements to Pakistan on account of Coalition Support Fund were on track. 
Public service: Meanwhile, Ishaq Dar chaired a meeting of the committee on proposed incentives to the public service officers, on the basis of position and performance.
The committee is tasked to suggest recommendations for improving efficiency of civil service while keeping in view the human recourse perspective. 
The meeting was informed that the current system has become obsolete, as it has not been able to deliver its best. 
It was also informed that a system of competitive promotion and job placement has become necessary for public sector delivery.
The committee discussed the road map for moving ahead on the aim of developing workable ideas and proposals to improve efficiency of the public sector. 
The committee was informed that another committee headed by Zahid Hamid, Minister for Science and Technology, is already working to develop recommendations for performance evaluation and promotion procedures for federal government officers. 
It was decided that further deliberations on the incentives for performance and position would be considered after the report of the committee headed by Minister for Science and Technology is finalised.

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