ISLAMABAD - Pakistan and France on Wednesday signed 100 million Euros Credit Facility Agreement for the Sustainable Energy Sector Reform Programme.

Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Secretary Tariq Mahmood Pasha, France Embassy Chargé d’Affaire René Consolo, and French Agency for Development (AFD) Country Director Jacky Amprou signed the agreement. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has also approved $300 million in co-financing of the programme.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar congratulated the EAD and AFD on the signing of the agreement. He underscored the importance of reforms in the energy sector which will directly impact the overall economic growth of Pakistan. He expressed appreciation for AFD’s continuous support for development projects in Pakistan, including in the energy sector. He said that with signing of this agreement, economic cooperation between Pakistan and France would be further strengthened.

The main objective of the programme is to revamp the energy sector to make it more affordable, reliable and sustainable, supporting the country’s economic growth and alleviating the energy crisis through expeditious implementation of the National Power Policy, 2013, he added. This reform programme will help in improving the financial viability of the power sector by better managing tariff and subsidies, improving sector performance and opening up the market to private participation. The programme will also facilitate in improving the transparency as well as accountability of power sector institutions.

Govt fails to introduce

reforms in energy

sector despite heavy loan

Online: Despite getting heavy loan worth 1.10 billion US dollars from Asian Development Bank (ADB) during the past three years, the federal government has miserably failed to introduce new reforms in the energy sector. According to available document, the federal government had got loan of $400 million in 2015, 400 million in 2016 and 300 million in 2017 respectively. Heavy loan was got to implement National Power Policy 2013 to address the power crises in the country including enhancement of economic growth but remarkable reforms could not be brought in energy sector during the past three years.

The government has failed to introduce remarkable reforms in energy sector due to which the duration of power outages in rural areas of Sindh, KP, Balochistan and Punjab is 12 to 14 hours while in urban areas it is 8 to 10 hours.

Sources said that government is using this amount to fulfill the budgetary requirements so that salaries and other affairs could be continued in better way.

"The ADB's board would sanction the loan of 300 million on Thursday (today) under Public Sector Enterprises Reform Program. This amount would be spent on the capacity building, corporate governance and for accountability of government departments", document added.