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Circular debt settlement to resolve energy shortage: Gilani

Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on said the government had addressed the circular debt issue to a large extent and said it would lead to the thermal generation of electricity to its maximum capacity, improving the supply considerably.

He was chairing a meeting on the access of country’s products to the European markets, at the Prime Minister House here. The meeting was attended by Minister for Commerce Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Advisor on Finance Dr Abudl Hafeez Shaikh, and officials of the ministries of commerce, textiles and foreign affairs.

Gilani said he had already held a meeting with the representatives of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) today to find out some out-of-the-box solutions to overcome energy shortage in the country.

The secretary commerce informed the meeting that the World Trade Organization had approved the European Package of 75 items on February 14.

He said after the approval of the EU Parliament, these items would be exported to European Markets without any duty with effect from January 1, 2013.

The secretary said the impact on Pakistan’s export would be around 450 million dollars to the European Union. He said in the GSP Plus, the European Union changed criteria to the advantage of Pakistan that could be attributed to the hectic efforts of the government functionaries under the guidance of the prime minister.

It was decided in the meeting that the Prime Minister would preside over the meeting of Envoy’s Conference belonging to European Union during his forthcoming visit to United Kingdom to appreciate the support of European Union.

The secretary ministry of commerce also informed the meeting that the countries out of European Union like Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein, Monaco and Switzerland have also indicated their willingness to initiate dialogue on the trade agreement with Pakistan.

The dialogue is expected to be held in April this year and if concluded it will further boost Pakistan’s exports in these countries, the secretary maintained.

The representatives of private sector called upon the government to take immediate action for the uninterrupted supply of energy to the export industry in order to fully capitalize the expected tariff concessions from the EU and EFTA countries.

The prime minister said the UK Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell, had also appreciated the normalization of trade links between Pakistan and India.

Commerce minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim said the Cabinet’s decision regarding the trade normalization with India had been widely appreciated inside and outside the country.

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