Press Information Department (PID) | MediaLine Pakistan

Islamabad, April 14, 2014 (PPI-OT): Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea H.E. Mr. Chung Hong won along with a high level delegation met Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif today at the PM House. Dr. Song Jong-hwan Korean Ambassador to Pakistan, Mr. Cho Taeyul vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Han Jinhyun vice Minister for Trade and Energy from the Chinese side and Engineer Khurram Dastagir Minister for Commerce, Mr. Ahsan Iqbal Minister for Planning, Mr. Sartaj Aziz Advisor to PM on National Security, Syed Tariq Fatmi Special Assistant To PM from the Pakistani side attended the meeting.

PM said that Pakistan is happy to witness the progress and development of the Republic of Korea and we are interested to learn from Korean experience. Moreover, the two governments must promote interaction and cooperation between their private sectors and regular interaction between respective Boards of Investment, and Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said the PM.

While discussing the economic prospects, PM Nawaz Sharif said that it is heartening to note that trade between our two countries reached US$ 1.6 billion in 2012. Pakistan has proposed a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that covers trade, investment and services so that trade between the two countries could be further enhanced, PM added.

PM Nawaz Sharif appreciated the ‘Joint Business Forum’ organized by KOTRA (Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency) and Board of Investment, Pakistan, on the sidelines of this visit and expressed hope that as an outcome of the ‘Business Forum’; the Korean companies would be engaged in the Energy, Infrastructure Development, Railways and Telecommunication sectors.

PM stressed upon the need of preparing a Country Partnership Strategy between the two countries for the next three years (2013-15). The Lahore – Islamabad Motorway bears testimony to the mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries and we want to replicate and enhance such cooperation in other fields, added PM Nawaz Sharif.

PM Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan offers huge opportunities to the Korean business companies in energy generation including hydel, wind, solar, biomass and coal generation and we would appreciate if Korean companies participate in initiatives such as Gaddani Power Park and Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park.

PM said that construction of off-shore and on-shore LNG terminals also offer investment opportunities to Korean companies and Pakistan would welcome and facilitate Korean capital and technology in these sectors.

PM said that the Free Economic Zone along the China-Pak economic Corridor also offers investment opportunities to Korean investors. In this Economic Zone, Korean SME’s can establish JVs in manufacturing sector to cater for a large and growing domestic market as well as, Korean and regional markets, PM added.

PM invited Korean financial institutions to start their operations in Pakistan adding that opening of a branch of Korean bank in Pakistan would boost business between the two countries.

Cooperation in science and technology, bio-engineering, information technology, and exchange of human resources and other areas of common interest with Korea were also discussed. PM thanked the Korean government for looking after 900 Pakistani students and expressed the hope for increasing further scholarships being offered to Pakistani students.

Korean Prime Minister thanked PM Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, government and people of Pakistan for extending warm welcome during his visit. H.E. Mr. Chung Hong won said that Pakistan and Korea should expand their trade, economy and energy sectors and enhance bilateral relations by increasing personnel exchanges in the private sector.

Views were also exchanged on regional and international issues.

Earlier the Two Prime Ministers witnessed the signing of MOU between the Pakistan and Korea on Trade, Industry and Energy. The MOU was signed by Mr. Muhammad Shahzad Arbab Secretary Commerce from Pakistani side and Mr. Han Jinhun vice Minister for Trade and Energy form Korean side.

Before the Delegation level talks, the two PMs held one-to-one meeting. While welcoming the Korean PM, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said that we are very happy to host you as the first ever Korean Prime Minister to visit Pakistan since the establishment of our diplomatic relations 31 years ago. It is my government’s resolve to strengthen and expand relations with the Republic of Korea in all fields, added the PM. Prime Minister said that the traditional cordial relationship between Pakistan and the Republic of Korea needs to be transformed into a substantive partnership in trade, investment, energy and infrastructure.

Later PM hosted a lunch in honour of the visiting delegation.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326
Email: piopid@gmail.com

Read More →

Islamabad, January 22, 2014 (PPI-OT): Richard Montgomery, Country Head of Department for International Development (DFID), Pakistan called on President, Mamnoon Hussain at the Aiwan e Sadr on Wednesday. Matters related to UK’s assistance to Pakistan in various fields, initiatives and projects undertaken with the help of DFID in Pakistan were discussed during the meeting.

Richard Montgomery, apprised the President about DFID, its role and the assistance being provided to Pakistan through DFID in diverse fields especially education and health sectors. Commenting on Pak-UK bilateral ties, the President appreciated UK’s development assistance of £1.174 billion to Pakistan in different sectors, especially, education and health since 2008 and urged the need for UK’s cooperation and assistance to meet the growing energy requirements of the country.

The President said that present government accords top priority to the promotion of education in the country and was committed to allocate more resources for the education sector. The President hailed the role and contribution of DFID in education sector through various initiatives and said that Pakistan and UK need to further enhance cooperation in education sector since this sector needs special attention.

Appreciating DFID’s assistance to facilitate Government of Pakistan, the President noted with pleasure that according to UK’s new government’s Operational Plan 2011-2015 for Pakistan, our country is the largest recipient of UK’s aid in the world. It may be added that UK has committed £ 1,392 million under this plan.

The President on the occasion assured the Country Head, DFID that every possible support and facilitation will be provided to him and the team of DFID in efficient discharge of their responsibilities aimed at the socio- economic development of Pakistan. The President also wished him a productive and successful stay in Pakistan.

Richard Montgomery, Country Head, DFID thanked the President for the meeting and appreciated government’s resolve to enhance spending on education sector. He assured all possible support and assistance of the UK’S Government to educate children in Pakistan and improve the education sector of Pakistan.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326
Email: piopid@gmail.com

The post Country head Department of International Development calls on President appeared first on AsiaNet-Pakistan.

Read More →

Islamabad, January 13, 2014 (PPI-OT): Country Director, World Bank Pakistan, Rachid Benmessaoud called on President, Mamnoon Hussain at the Aiwan-e-Sadr today.

The President appreciated the working relationship of the World Bank with Pakistan over a period of time and expressed confidence that the organization would continue extending its support for development projects in the country.

Highlighting energy requirements of the country, the President emphasized the Bank to consider financing energy and water resource projects in Pakistan as the country is facing acute energy shortage which was adversely affecting the economy. He said that World Bank can play a major role in supporting the efforts of Government of Pakistan in addressing the power and energy crisis.

Mr. Rachid Benmessaoud, briefed the President about the new Country Partnership strategy (CPS) of the World Bank for the next five years (2015-19) and also about various projects of the Bank aimed at socio-economic development of Pakistan.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326
Email: piopid@gmail.com

The post Country Director World Bank Pakistan calls on President Mamnoon Hussain appeared first on AsiaNet-Pakistan.

Read More →

Islamabad, January 13, 2014 (PPI-OT): Ansar Burney, Human Rights Activist and Chairman, Ansar Burney Trust International called on President Mamnoon Hussain at the Aiwan e Sadr today.

Matters relating to human rights, women and children rights, prisoners, human trafficking and slavery were discussed during the meeting.

The President while reiterating government’s firm commitment to the promotion of human rights, said that ‘Human Rights Cell’ has also been established in the Presidency to deal with human rights abuses in Pakistan and to keep a close watch on human rights cases and their follow up in the country.

Commenting on children rights, the President highlighted efforts of the government to contain the spread of polio virus in children below five years of age in various parts of the country particularly Federally Administered Tribal areas(FATA). He said that polio eradication was a high national priority and urged the need for collective efforts by all the stakeholders to make Pakistan a country where no parents see their child crippled by polio. He called upon Chairman, Ansar Burney Trust International to play his active role in making Pakistan a polio free country.

Mr. Ansar Burney thanked the President for meeting and assured that Ansar Burney Trust International will continue to extend all out support in issues related to human rights and human trafficking and also complementing government efforts in polio eradication in Pakistan.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326
Email: piopid@gmail.com

The post Ansar Burney meets president appeared first on AsiaNet-Pakistan.

Read More →

Islamabad, January 13, 2014 (PPI-OT): Country Director, World Bank Pakistan, Rachid Benmessaoud called on President, Mamnoon Hussain at the Aiwan-e-Sadr today.

The President appreciated the working relationship of the World Bank with Pakistan over a period of time and expressed confidence that the organization would continue extending its support for development projects in the country.

Highlighting energy requirements of the country, the President emphasized the Bank to consider financing energy and water resource projects in Pakistan as the country is facing acute energy shortage which was adversely affecting the economy. He said that World Bank can play a major role in supporting the efforts of Government of Pakistan in addressing the power and energy crisis.

Mr. Rachid Benmessaoud, briefed the President about the new Country Partnership strategy (CPS) of the World Bank for the next five years (2015-19) and also about various projects of the Bank aimed at socio-economic development of Pakistan.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326
Email: piopid@gmail.com

The post Country Director World Bank Pakistan calls on President Mamnoon Hussain appeared first on AsiaNet-Pakistan.

Read More →

Islamabad, December 20, 2013 (PPI-OT): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has said that Pakistan has a vibrant economic sector and offers an investment friendly climate to Qatar’s investors. Prime said this while talking to Sheikh Falah Bin Jassim Bin Jabor Al-Thani, Chairman Board of Directors of Doha Group.

Prime Minister said that taking opportunity of the economic prospects available in Pakistan, the Qatari companies should invest in economic sectors particularly Energy and Infrastructure.

PM said “Qatar is a principal player in the world energy market especially in the export of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Pakistan would welcome cooperation with Qatar in the Energy sector”. We would like to invite Qatari petroleum and gas companies to invest in Pakistan’s oil and gas exploration and production sector, PM added.

Prime Minister said that that both the two countries have great potential to increase the existing level of bilateral trade. We wish to promote, diversify and strengthen relations in all fields of our bilateral relations, PM added.

Prime Minister said that Pakistan attaches great importance to its close and cordial relations with Qatar and values its contribution to regional peace and stability.

PM expressed good wishes for the Emir of Qatar and said that under Emir’s sagacious leadership, Qatar has played its positive role in the region.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326
Email: piopid@gmail.com

The post Chairman Doha Group Calls on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appeared first on AsiaNet-Pakistan.

Read More →

Islamabad, November 13, 2013 (PPI-OT): 1st Meeting of Working Group on Integrated Energy for Pakistan Vision 2025 and 11th Five Year Plan 2013-18 was held in Planning Commission on 12-11-13 under the chairmanship of Secretary Planning, Development and Reforms, Mr. Hassan Nawaz Tarar. Mr. Farkhand Iqbal (Senior Chief Energy), in his opening remarks welcomed all the participants and explained that Energy Sector in the country has been suffering from serious problems, as our industries are being closed and shifted to other countries, exports being declined, per capita income decreased. In short energy sector of economy is badly suffering due to energy shortages in our country.

These problems were identified few years ago when Pakistan GDP touched 7.4% due to healthier Socio-Economic conditions but due to ill-planning / lack of ownership / political interference at all levels of economy, in-adequate funding and most importantly due to very bad governance in the past, the desired results could not be achieved.

He also said that operational efficiency in generation / transmission and distribution system also remained very low in both public and private sectors. Political interference on the management of DISCOs has become the norm in making it difficult to ensure high levels of management issues.

In view of the situation, he informed that Planning Commission has now decided to take the lead role and initiate the process of consistent and coherent policies / laws to formulate and prepare 11th Five Year Plan 2013-18 as well as Vision 2025.

He also emphasized that the 11th five year plan 2013-18 and vision 2025 would not be a plan like the plans of the past but it should be a realistic, doable and a must to achieve the desired growth rate for the next decade to make Pakistan an industrialized and Knowledge Economy, as was envisioned by the Founding Father and the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

All eminent Scholars / Experts / Scientists participated in the process of making Five Year Plan 2013-18 and Vision 2025. Secretary Planning, Development and Reforms also stressed upon various aspects of Energy Planning and Conservation of Energy.

In the end, four working groups were formed for energy generation, transmission and distribution system. 2nd sub-groups were formed for discovery and mining and transportation of fuels such as gas, coal, oil and other imports, 3rd sub-working group was made for alternative energy development. Energy efficiency and conservation, fifth was for constitutional reforms.

Senior Chief also thanked the participants and chairmen of all sub-workings and stressed upon hectic efforts to be made to bring out the country from the massive load-shedding, and emphasized on moving ahead together for Pakistan’s Energy Security, Sovereignty and Sustainability.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326
Email: piopid@gmail.com

The post Meeting of working group on integrated energy for Pakistan vision 2025 and 11th five year plan 2013-18 appeared first on AsiaNet-Pakistan.

Read More →

Islamabad, November 13, 2013 (PPI-OT): Following is the text of press note issued by Press Information Department (PID)

Minorities in Pakistan enjoy all fundamentals human rights and no discrimination is meted out to them on the ground of religion and creed. These views were expressed by the Minister for Religious Affairs and Inter-faith Harmony, Sardar Muhammad Yousaf while talking to the Ambassador of Japan, H.E Mr. Hiroshi Inomata, who called on him here today.

The matters of mutual and bilateral interest with special reference to inter-faith harmony came under discussion.

The Minister informed the Ambassador that minorities are equal citizens of Pakistan and there is no discrimination between Muslims and Non-Muslims adding their rights and privileges are fully protected and reserved in the 1973 constitution.

The Minister thanked the government and people of Japan for providing generous support to the victims of earthquake in 2005 and said that so many NGOs arrived from Japan to Manshera and helped the victims in distress there. The Ambassador also thanked the government and people of Pakistan for providing assistance during Tsunami in Japan.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326
Email: piopid@gmail.com

The post Japanese Ambassador Calls on Minister for Religious Affairs and Inter-Faith Harmony appeared first on AsiaNet-Pakistan.

Read More →

Islamabad, July 04, 2013 (PPI-OT): A delegation led by Mr. Peter Sands, Group Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank, UK presently on a visit to Pakistan called on the Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar at his office this afternoon.

While talking to Mr. Peter Sands the Finance Minister said that the government of Pakistan had successfully engaged with the IMF which is presently visiting Pakistan in compliance of Article-IV.

The Finance Minister said that he had held extensive discussions with the IMF team and apprised them of the road map and economic priorities and policies of the new government.

The priorities of the Government, the Finance Minister said, are “Three Es, Economy, Energy and Extremism”. He apprised Mr. Peter Sands that the biggest challenge to the economy was circular debt which he took as a challenge and has been successfully liquidated. Out of total circular debt of RS.503 billion, the government has successfully settled the dues of private power producers by payment of RS.322 billion whereas the remaining would be released in announced time.

Mr. Ishaq Dar informed Mr. Peter Sands that during the recent business conference in Dubai held on June 25-26, investors showed keen interest in investing in Pakistan which is a testimony of the confidence shown by them in the policies of the new government.

The proposal of Standard Chartered Bank to extend facility for Neelum-Jhelum Hydro Electric Project and oil financing through Pakistan State Oil also came under discussion.

The Finance Minister said that the future of our economy is in revenue generation and resource mobilization.

Mr. Peter Sands said “we appreciate how much you are trying to achieve, the market will respond positively”. He praised the Finance Minister for the speed with which the government was working and said “it is faster than the expectations of the market”.

Mr. Peter Sands apprised the Finance Minister that Standard Chartered Bank is celebrating its 150th anniversary and is uniquely placed in the region to assist the government of Pakistan due to its experience and of expertise in financial markets. Mr. Sands assured the Finance Minister that Standard Chartered Bank is keen to assist Pakistan and work with it closely to evolve new financial mechanism.

Mr. Sands said that this meeting helped him understand the economic policies of the new government and remove misunderstandings. Mr. Sands offered the Finance Minister that his Bank which had expertise and standing in the market and was ready to work with the government of Pakistan to remove misunderstandings about Pakistan and tell its story to the world.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326
Email: piopid@gmail.com

Read More →

Beijing, July 04, 2013 (PPI-OT): The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) met at the Prime Minister’s Office with the Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar in the chair and approved five projects amounting to Rs.1303.0 billion.

These include K-I and K-II Nuclear Projects situated in Karachi (Province Sindh, generation capacity 2200 MW, cost Rs.958729.0 million) Nandipur (Province Punjab, generation capacity 425 MW, cost Rs.57380 million), Neelum-Jhelum hydro electric project (AJK, generation capacity 969 MW, cost Rs.274.0 billion).

In his opening remarks, Senator Ishaq Dar said that ECNEC is a premier constitutional body where all projects amounting to more than one billion are approved. The Minister said that the previous practice had been that anticipatory approvals were given by the Finance Minister for approval of projects, a discretion that he would like to dispense with and would like every project to be discussed in this forum before it is approved. The Minister said that this would mean that more frequent meetings of ECNEC would be held.

Finance Minister said that finances for all the approved projects should be timely arranged and their monitoring would be carried out regularly so that they do not suffer or delayed from want of resources. The projects should be completed on schedule so that its benefits and value for the money are achieved.

Finance Minister said that the government had taken a bold decision to settle the circular debt which stood at Rs.503 billion and has already paid Rs.322 billion to private power producers while the remaining would be settled within announced time.

This measure would add 1700MW of electricity to the national grid. The IPPs have been mandated to use coal instead of oil and bring about the change in the next 18 months which will bring down the average cost of power production.

Mr. Ishaq Dar said that today’s meeting is important because we are taking up energy projects with the total generation capacity of 3511MW which when completed would not only be a substantial addition to the national grid but also produce electricity at low cost. The Minister said that 15 years back the energy mix was 75% based on cheap fuel and 25% on costly oil whereas it has now totally changed to 25% based on cheap fuel and 75% on furnace oil.

Mr. Ishaq Dar informed the participants that the Prime Minister had decided that future energy projects should be undertaken with the view that they can be completed within the shortest possible time and produce power at low cost.

While discussing the Neelum-Jhelum Hydro Electric Project which has been approved at revised cost of Rs.274.0 billion against the previous cost of Rs.84.0 billion, the meeting decided that a probe into the huge cost overrun and delay in the project should be made and submitted so that responsibility can be fixed. Similarly, the Ministry of Water and Power was also directed that the transmission lines should be completed in tandum with the project.

The project would generate 969MW power by constructing a concrete gravity dam on Neelum River at Nauseri District Muzaffarabad. Neelum-Jhelum Hydro Power Project will help generation of cheap electricity for people as envisioned by Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif.

A Combined Cycle Power Plant (CCPP) of nearly 425-525MW capacity comprising of 3(03) NOS gas turbines and 1(01 NO) original cost of Rs.22,335 million are revised and approved steam turbine unit at the existing site of Nandipur small hydle power station where sufficient land and infrastructure is available was also approved by the ECNEC. The project is proposed to be funded from PSDP/GENCO’s own resources.

The ECNEC approved Karachi Costal Power Project (Unit-I and II), with the generation capacity of 2117 MW each. The total cost of Karachi Costal Power Project (Unit-I and II) is estimated Rs.958,729.0 million. This project located in Karachi, Sindh would go a long way in meeting the uninterrupted energy requirement of the south of the country.

The ECNEC approved the project of Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite (PRSS) located in Sindh and Punjab with cost of Rs.19695.0 million. The Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite project is part of National Satellite Development Programme for space technology and its application will be in Pakistan, institutional capacity building of SUPARCO and relevant organizations. PRSS will carry optical pay load that will produce high resolution earth images with stereo capabilities. The image quality produced by PRSS system shall be in accordance with defined international standard.

The ECNEC approved the addition of 3rd, 4th and 5th lanes to Kashmir Highway from Peshawar More to GT Road (including construction of new bridge for additional carriage way) Islamabad. The revised project envisages rehabilitation/improvement of existing two lanes (Flexible pavement) and addition of one more flexible pavement as 3rd lane and an addition of two rigid pavements as 4thand 5th lanes (each 3.65m wide) on northern and southern carriage way of Kashmir Highway between Peshawar More and GT Road measuring 11km. The revised PC-I cost for the project is Rs.4689.0 million against original cost of Rs.2191.0 million.

The meeting was attended by Mr. Zahid Hamid, Minister for Science and Technology, Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, Mr. Sikandar Hayat Bosan, Minister for National Food Security, Ms. Anusha Rehman Khan, Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Chairman WAPDA, representatives of all four provinces and heads of different departments.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326
Email: piopid@gmail.com

Read More →