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'Pakistan needs 1,500MW to achieve GDP growth target'
5/20/2008 6:33:00 PM | Daily Times
By Zafar Bhutta ISLAMABAD: There is no overnight solution to the power crisis and Pakistan needs to add 1,200MW to 1,500MW additional power per annum to achieve GDP growth target of 7 to 8 percent, said Rune Stroem, head energy operations Infrastructure Division Central and West Asia Department. He said this after signing ceremony between government of Pakistan and ADB for a loan agreement of $220 million here under Multi-Tranche Financing Facility (MFF). The first tranche of the programme of $236 million was signed on January 16, 2007. The acting secretary Economic Affairs Division, Junaid Iqbal and Country Director ADB, Peter L Fedon signed the agreement. He said government of Pakistan would have to take short-term and long-term measures to improve the chain of power flow, and more money is needed in power sector to achieve the growth of 7 to 8 percent of GDP. He said that Pakistan needs skill management, technical solutions and financial strength to control transmission losses of power distribution companies. Fedon said that the discussion on the $1 billion loan with Pakistan was under way and ADB would provide loan for power sector including renewable energy and hydel projects including Bhasha Dam project. He said that ADB had provided $1.9 billion during the year 2007-08 and we are looking at $1 billion lending to Pakistan in 2009. He said that the economic indicators of Pakistan are not healthy due to high oil and food prices along with the huge trade and fiscal deficits. In order to have policy coordination, there is a need to develop better communications between Finance Ministry and State Bank of Pakistan. "We are committed to provide financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy and hydel projects," he said adding that the agreed loan of $220 million would help Pakistan to improve its current power system. go to topprint