Chief Executive Officer Standard Chartered Bank meets Finance Minister Ishaq Dar

Islamabad, July 04, 2013 (PPI-OT): A delegation led by Mr. Peter Sands, Group Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank, UK presently on a visit to Pakistan called on the Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar at his office this afternoon.

While talking to Mr. Peter Sands the Finance Minister said that the government of Pakistan had successfully engaged with the IMF which is presently visiting Pakistan in compliance of Article-IV.

The Finance Minister said that he had held extensive discussions with the IMF team and apprised them of the road map and economic priorities and policies of the new government.

The priorities of the Government, the Finance Minister said, are “Three Es, Economy, Energy and Extremism”. He apprised Mr. Peter Sands that the biggest challenge to the economy was circular debt which he took as a challenge and has been successfully liquidated. Out of total circular debt of RS.503 billion, the government has successfully settled the dues of private power producers by payment of RS.322 billion whereas the remaining would be released in announced time.

Mr. Ishaq Dar informed Mr. Peter Sands that during the recent business conference in Dubai held on June 25-26, investors showed keen interest in investing in Pakistan which is a testimony of the confidence shown by them in the policies of the new government.

The proposal of Standard Chartered Bank to extend facility for Neelum-Jhelum Hydro Electric Project and oil financing through Pakistan State Oil also came under discussion.

The Finance Minister said that the future of our economy is in revenue generation and resource mobilization.

Mr. Peter Sands said “we appreciate how much you are trying to achieve, the market will respond positively”. He praised the Finance Minister for the speed with which the government was working and said “it is faster than the expectations of the market”.

Mr. Peter Sands apprised the Finance Minister that Standard Chartered Bank is celebrating its 150th anniversary and is uniquely placed in the region to assist the government of Pakistan due to its experience and of expertise in financial markets. Mr. Sands assured the Finance Minister that Standard Chartered Bank is keen to assist Pakistan and work with it closely to evolve new financial mechanism.

Mr. Sands said that this meeting helped him understand the economic policies of the new government and remove misunderstandings. Mr. Sands offered the Finance Minister that his Bank which had expertise and standing in the market and was ready to work with the government of Pakistan to remove misunderstandings about Pakistan and tell its story to the world.

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