US to pay $322m CSF fund soon: Dar
15 October, 2013
WASHINGTON: The United States has assured Pakistan that the outstanding amount of $322 million of the Coalition Support Funds will be reimbursed shortly.
Talking to the media here on Sunday, Pakistan's Finance Minister Ishaq Dar termed the decision a positive one, saying that the decision shows that the confidence of international donors, financial institutions and the US was being restored.
He said his bilateral meetings with the US Treasury and Deputy National Security Adviser addressed the anti-money laundering efforts. Pakistan, he said, had promulgated an ordinance amendment to bring the law in line with international requirements.
"It could have affected the ratings of Pakistani banking sector otherwise," he said, adding that he assured the Americans that Pakistan's nuclear assets were in safe hands and "the world need not to worry about it."He concluded his four-day tour to attend the IMF-WB annual meetings. He had 50 meetings in total. Dar also met with Iranian and Afghan counterparts on the sidelines of these meetings.
He announced that their Joint Economic Commission will meet soon. He said he had told the US authorities to straighten out their issues with Iran, while US officials did not give any negative or positive reaction to Pakistan's pipeline project with Iran.
Meanwhile, the World Bank has committed $700 million for the Dasu Hydro Power Project. The bank has also pledged an extra $1 billion to help Pakistan with tax reforms and fix the balance of payment.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation will increase the investment in Pakistan to $1.5 billion, Dar said, up from $500 million. The minister insisted that all trade and business engagements with the US will remain steadfast even after the 2014 pullout from Afghanistan. "These engagements are commercially driven," he said.
INP adds: With regard to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's talks with President Barack Obama on October 23, Dar said the Pakistani leader will focus on expanding investments and trade cooperation with the United States during his upcoming visit to Washington.
The prime minister will also interact with American business leaders, Dar added.He also met with US Deputy National Security Adviser, Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Ambassador Carlos Pascal, envoy on energy and discussed the bilateral cooperation.
"I found much greater international confidence in Pakistan's economic policies and reforms, and am confident that with more investments, we will be able to fuel the national economy, achieve a higher GDP growth and fast-track the economic development," he said.