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April 13, 2016

Dar to look after state matters in absence of PM


April 13, 2016

Cancels US visit; VP of Italian oil and gas company calls on finance minister

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar on Tuesday canceled his visit to Washington for attending annual meeting of Breton Wood Institutions (BWIs) such as the IMF and World Bank. The decision was taken on direction of the prime minister to look after important matters of state in the absence of Nawaz Sharif in the country.

“The PM had already canceled his due medical checkup twice so he would be proceeding to the UK for his routine medical checkup. In this context, the government decided to cancel his visit to US for attending annual meeting of the IMF/World Bank,” Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar told The News on phone from Lahore when this scribe sent him SMS inquiring reasons for cancelling his visit to Washington on Tuesday night.

The minister said that he would not be visiting UK along with the premier but he would be staying in the country to look after important matters in his absence. “Tomorrow morning (Wednesday), I will attend meeting at airport under chairmanship of PM Nawaz Sharif before his proceeding to the UK,” he added. Dar will be presiding over the meetings scheduled to be held under the prime minister at the PM Office.

He said that Pakistan’s delegation would be attending the annual spring meeting of the IMF/WB scheduled to be held in Washington.

“Nasir Khosa, Pakistan’s Director into World Bank, has just informed me that the regret letters were delivered in offices of those high-ups with whom my meeting was scheduled in Washington,” the minister concluded.

However, according to statement issued by Finance Ministry, stating that in view of prime minister’s programme to proceed to United Kingdom for medical checkup, the finance minister cancels visit to Washington for attending International Monetary Fund and World Bank Spring meetings to be held from April 14 to April 17, 2016.

Now the delegation comprising governor State Bank of Pakistan, finance secretary and secretary Economic Affairs Division will represent the country in these meetings.

Ishaq Dar held a meeting with senior officials of the Finance and Economic Affairs Divisions here Tuesday.

Preparations for the upcoming World Bank/IMF Spring meetings scheduled to be held at Washington from 14-17 April 2016 were reviewed on the occasion. The finance minister expressed satisfaction on the preparation for effective participation of Pakistan delegation in the meetings.

In a separate meeting, Lapo Pistelli, Vice President ENI, reputed Italian multinational oil and gas company called on Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar here Tuesday. Italian Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo accompanied Lapo Pistelli on the occasion. They had discussion with finance minister on matters relating to investment in Pakistan.

Dar gave a brief overview of the economy to the visiting delegation and said Pakistan was now fully focused on the path to economic growth where investment had a major contribution to make. He apprised the deputy head of ENI about the investment plans of Chinese, Saudi and Qatar companies and said Italian investors were welcome to explore and avail business opportunities in Pakistan in various fields including the energy sector. He said the government offered a liberal investment regime and fully encouraged foreign investors to make investment in Pakistan.

ENI vice president on the occasion said that the company engaged in oil and natural gas exploration, field development and production, as well as in the supply, trading and shipping of natural gas, LNG, electricity, fuels and chemical products. He briefed the finance minister about the various projects undertaken by ENI and evinced keen interest in business and investment opportunities in Pakistan.



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