ISLAMABAD- The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Wednesday assured Pakistan to increase its assistance in the energy sector to meet the current power deficit, which has peaked to 4500 megawatts. Anne H Aarnes, Mission Director, USAID, held a meeting with Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Salman Faruqui. It was the preliminary meeting on Pak-US Energy Dialogue after an interval of two years. Anne Aarnes said that the USAID was willing to assist Pakistan in the energy sector. She said that USAID would focus on empowering Pakistan energy policy, energy efficiency and capacity under the Energy Development Programme. The USAID will assist Pakistan by providing two full time technical experts supported by short-term technical assistance for energy strategy formulation, implementation and support for energy policy dialogue. Technical assistance will also supply targeted feasibility studies in energy resource development, energy efficiency, transactions support and pricing. The energy efficiency and capacity component of USAID will develop the private sector market for energy efficiency by facilitating firms, conducting public information campaigns on energy efficiency including plans to minimise damage to business from blackouts. Capacity building activities will assist human resource departments in power sector companies to develop and implement coordinated training programs for staff at all levels. Mission Director, USAID, further stated that besides energy sector, the USAID will also assist Pakistan in private sector development, agriculture and knowledge management. Salman Faruqui briefed the delegation about the acute energy shortage currently being faced by the country and emphasised on the need of a fast track power generation programme. He also informed the delegation about the government's plan to introduce mass transit programme to save energy and ensure easy and economical mode of transportation for the public. He stated that Pakistan needed international assistance to implement the mass transit programmes. The Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, also appreciated the assistance offered by USAID and said that this assistance would help restore macro-economic stability in the country. Advisors, Secretary, members and Chief Economist Planning Commission participated in the meeting from Pakistan side whereas Mary Beth Goodman, Counselor for Economic Affairs, Emy Meyer, Economic Growth Office Director, Aazar Bhandara, Economic Growth Advisor, and Syed Farrukh Hussain , Country Coordinator, attended the meeting from the USAID side.