ISLAMABAD  -   The French government is considering to increase the portfolio of financial assistance for Pakistan to € 500 million per annum from the current around € 150 million.

The disclosure was made by Dr Marc Baréty, Ambassador of France to Pakistan, in a meeting with the Federal Secretary Ministry of Water Resources, Shamail Ahmad Khawaja here. Philippe Fouet, Head of the Economic Department of the Embassy of France, was also present on the occasion.

The French Ambassador shared the interest of his government particularly in the water and hydropower sector and mentioned about the assistance being extended by the French government for facilitating the development in Pakistan. The ambassador shared that the current portfolio of financial assistance is of the order of € 800-900 million which is around € 150 million per annum, which the French Govt is considering to increase to € 500 million per annum depending upon the requirements. The ambassador was also apprised of various projects being executed in Faisalabad with the assistance of French treasury. The French ambassador assured the French govt gives importance to the development of Pakistan both in terms of providing funds as well as imparting trainings to build the capacity of Pakistani institutions.

Secretary Water Resources thanked the government of France for extending the financial assistance for development of Harpo hydropower project, refurbishment of powerhouse of Mangla Dam Project, rehabilitation of Hydropower Training Institute Mangla, second rehabilitation of Warsak Dam and detailed engineering design of Mohmand dam as well the upcoming assistance for rehabilitation of Chitral and Dargai hydropower projects.

The secretary also briefed about the achievement of the nascent ministry of having country’s first ever National Water Policy approved from the apex constitutional forum of Council of Common Interests which is headed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan and all the Chief Ministers of the federating units of the country represent their respective provinces. He also apprised about signing of the Pakistan Water Charter by the Prime Minister and all the four Chief Ministers as a pledge to continue the development of water sector regardless of any political party in the government.

The Secretary Water Resources welcomed the gesture of goodwill and cooperation extended by the French ambassador on behalf of his government and expressed that the Pakistan would be forthcoming in receiving assistance from France to build the capacity of its institutions and human resource beside development of water resource and hydropower sector.