Govt. according priority to resolving energy problem: Finance Minister

Finance Minister, Senator Ishaq Dar here on Sunday said that Government was according high priority to resolving the energy issue as it was the key to overall economic progress in the country.

The Minister stated this while chairing a special briefing session regarding Energy and Infrastructure Active Portfolio where Secretary EAD, Saleem Sethi apprised the Minister that a number of energy projects were being undertaken to resolve problem of electricity shortage. He said a total amount of 18,783.6 million dollars was allocated for ongoing power sector projects that would make a major contribution towards alleviating power shortage.

The bulk of the energy projects were being undertaken by M/o Water & Power of which 16 were for power generation, 9 for Transmission and 5 for power distribution while 4 projects were to be completed under the aegis of PAEC. 

In regard to infrastructure projects under NHA, he said there were 11 ongoing loan projects on which $1.24 billion had been incurred out of the total loan amount of $2.13 billion. The remaining $890 million, he said would be incurred in about two and a half years. National Trade Corridor Highway Sector Development programme, National Highway sector development programme, National trade Corridor Highway Investment, Khanewal-Multan Motorway project and Malakand tunnel project were the prominent loan projects.

To Finance Minister’s query regarding grant projects, he said these included Post flood rehabilitation project of NHA road network, Kalat-Quetta-Chaman highway, Peshawar-Torkham Road rehabilitation and other programmes.  He said there were 8 grant projects under NHA with grant of $360 million and as of December 2014, $215 million had been utilized.

The Minister appreciated EAD’s active coordination with the Donors and funding agencies for important projects in the country. He also praised the detailed presentation which fully highlighted the status of utilization of funds by executing agencies and EAD’s continued liaison with them.