ISLAMABAD - Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar said Tuesday that Pakistan had fulfilled pre-conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for getting $ 5.4 billion package that would be approved by Funds’ executive board on September 4, 2013. 

The finance minister said that government had taken all stakeholders on board for getting no-objection certificate (NOC) for the construction of Diamer Bhasha Dam, which was vital for the country. He further said overall cost of Diamer Bhasha Dam was around 10-12 billion dollars that would generate 4,500 megawatt electricity.

Talking to the media after attending Pakistan-Nepal Joint Economic Commission, the Finance Minister said that there would be a consortium for the construction of Diamer Bhasha Dam, which would be led by Asian Development Bank and World Bank and Islamic Development Bank would also be included in that consortium. Talking about 750 million euros from Islamic Development Bank, Senator Ishaq Dar said that Pakistan had received 100 million euros so far.

Earlier, the finance minister chaired the concluding session of Pakistan-Nepal Joint Economic Commission. Shankar Parsad Koirala, Minister for Finance, Commerce, Industries and Supplies represented the Nepal side.

During the session, detailed discussions were held by the experts of the two countries, focussing on trade & commerce, banking & finance, agriculture, energy, information technology & telecommunication, health, education, postal services and civil aviation.

To implement the decisions taken during the session, minutes of the JEC were signed by the two finance ministers at a ceremony.

A draft of the Free Trade Agreement between Pakistan and Nepal was handed over to the Nepalese side for examination. Further negotiations in this regard will be held by a Joint Trade Committee of the two countries.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry will explore areas of trade diversification particularly involving the private sectors of the two countries in collaboration with Federation of Nepal Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the exchange of business delegations will be made a regular feature.

A draft MoU on establishing linkages between Alternative Energy Development Board of Pakistan and Alternative Energy Promotion Centre of Nepal was given to the Nepali delegation for formalisation of mutual cooperation in alternate energy sources development.

Similarly, a draft MoU between State Bank of Pakistan and Central Bank of Nepal for a regulatory regime between the banking sectors of the two countries will be exchanged for supporting business community. It will help achieve the objectives of proposed Free Trade Agreement.

Both sides also discussed areas of cooperation in the field of agriculture under the provisions of an agreement signed between the two countries. In this connection, it was agreed to hold the meeting of the joint working group constituted under the said agreement on August28-29, 2013 in Islamabad. Increase in the frequency of cargo and passenger flights for Nepal will be discussed in the next meeting of joint committee on trade.