WASHINGTON: Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar met with the United States (US) Deputy Secretary of State William Burns at the State Department to discuss mutual cooperation between the two countries.
The finance minister, who is heading a Pakistani delegation to Washington for World Bank-International Monetary Fund (IMF) annual meetings, was accompanied by Governor State Bank, Yaseen Anwar, Secretary Economic Affairs Divsion, Nargis Sethi and Charge d’ Affaires at Pakistani embassy Dr Asad Majeed Khan.
On the US side, the deputy secretary of state was assisted by Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan James Dobbins and Deputy Special Representative Daniel Feldman.
During the meeting, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar informed the US officials about the steps taken by the new government to put economy back on track. The finance minister informed Burns of the politically tough decisions by the government like increasing tariff on electricity and reducing subsidies in the sector.
Senator Dar highlighted that the new government had inherited empty coffers as the tax revenue was barely Rs1,936 billion against the target of Rs2,380 billion. He said that Islamabad had set an ambitious target of increasing Tax Revenue by 28%. The finance minister said the new 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.
Deputy Secretary Burns appreciated the bold decisions taken by the Government and expressed hope that the American investors would benefit from the investor friendly policies of the government.
Earlier, Finance Minister Dar visited the US Treasury Department and had a meeting with the Under Secretary David Cohen. During the meeting Senator Dar briefed the American officials about the actions taken by the new government to improve the documentation of economy and control illegal transfer of money which could be used for terrorist activities.
The finance minister informed Cohen that the government was giving incentives to promote transfer of money through official means.
Cohen appreciated that the government was making serious efforts to control terrorist financing and expected that there would be positive outcomes from the next visit of Financial Action Task Force team next week.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 11th, 2013.
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