Islamabad, 23rd October, 2012
A three member team of the US Embassy lead by Counselor for Economic Assistance and Development, Richard Albright called on the Federal Minister for Water and Power, Ch. Ahmed Mukhtar here today and discussed various matters of cooperation in power sector, management/improvements in Discos and financing for Diamer Basha Dam (DBD). Adviser on DBD, Shakil Durrani was also present in the meeting.
The Minister while welcoming the delegation appreciated US cooperation and assistance being extended to the power sector and said that it would help to improve the efficiency of the public sector power entities. The government, he said was working on Power sector reforms, rehabilitation, upgradation of Gencos, improvement in the working of Discos, power theft control and reduction of line losses. The Minister urged for US assistance for DBD along with that from Asian Development Bank and other donors and termed the dam a lifeline for country’s economy. He said that government attaches top priority for construction of this mega project. The Minister also discussed US investment in the coal and wind power projects.
The US Counselor reaffirmed the commitment that US would continue to support the people of Pakistan and help to improve the power sector. DBD was a very important project for future water requirement and to generate cheaper power and added that the US was interested for financial assistance of DBD. He discussed various proposals to raise funding for this mega project. The US would be willing to provide the Financial Advice in this respect. He also stated that a video conference has also been proposed next month with the US energy team and Wapda officials on Diamer Basha Dam project. Mr. Albright observed that the previous meetings of US-Pak on energy sector were very beneficial and various programmes were chalked out to assist Pakistan in the power sector through reforms, upgradation and rehabilitation of existing plants. Mr. Albright also raised the matter regarding formal approval of the task force on water by Government of Pakistan as this report envisages the construction of Diamer Basha Dam. The Minister assured to take up the matter.