ISLAMABAD - Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar chaired a meeting on Pakistan’s privatisation programme on Friday.

Chairman Privatization Commission Mohammad Zubair briefed the finance minister about the implementation status of decisions taken by the Cabinet Committee on Privatization. Chairman Privatization Commission apprised the finance minister on interest shown by foreign investors in various sectors. The finance minister appreciated the work done by the Privatization Commission and directed that the process may continue to be conducted in an efficient and transparent manner.

The meeting was attended by officials from Finance Division and Privatization Commission.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar also spoke on telephone with Ms Catherine Novelli, US Undersecretary of State.

Finance minister apprised her of his domestic commitments, including All Parties Conference and Joint Session of the Parliament to discuss the situation on the Line of Control (LoC), which necessitated him to cancel his visit to Washington for annual meetings of the IMF/World Bank. He apprised Ms Novelli about the recent positive developments, including issuance of international sukuk at the lowest coupon rate for Pakistan. US Undersecretary Ms Novelli congratulated finance minister for receiving the award of Best Finance Minister of the Year for South Asia and said that the award given by Emerging Markets, the newspaper of the IMF/World Bank Annual Meeting, was “totally deserved”. She also appreciated Pakistan’s first time completion of IMF’s 3-years program and successful implementation of reform agenda leading to the direction of macroeconomic stability.

The two leaders discussed how the US could assist Pakistan in improving its labour standards as a means to better market Pakistan’s manufactured products. Ms Novelli added that the new head of International Labour Organization (ILO) was keen to help Pakistan in this field. Finance Minister welcomed US offer and said that we would further coordinate on this subject.

Ms Novelli also apprised Finance Minister about the progress in the ongoing 28th meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol taking place in Kigali, Rawanda. Finance Minister assured Ms Novelli that Pakistan would play a positive role in the meeting keeping in view its national interests.