ISLAMABAD, Dec 9 (APP): Federal Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar said Wednesday present government has laid due focus on social safety sector and has been able to expand the network of income support programme to over 5 million beneficiaries.
He said budgetary allocation for the programme has reached Rs. 102 billion in the current fiscal year.He made these remarks while talking to British Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Af-Pak Affairs, Owen Jenkins who called on him here.

Jenkins was accompanied by the British High Commissioner,Philip Barton and Joanna Reid, Head of DFID on the occasion.Ishaq Dar also on this occasion briefed Owen Jenkins
about the stability achieved in economy through continued reforms and the government’s efforts for resolving the energy problem.

He also dilated on Pakistan’s achievements in the operation Zarb-e-Azb. He said the government is now focusing on the rehabilitationof temporarily displaced persons.

During the meeting, they expressed unanimity of views on efforts for peace and development in Afghanistan which would in turn help achieve stability and progress in the whole region.

They also agreed that the Heart of Asia Conference would play a contributing role towards achieving this objective.The visiting dignitary felicitated Minister Dar on the progress Pakistan and Afghanistan have achieved in CASA-1000 energy project and said he wished for more of such projects of regional connectivity, being undertaken for benefit of the
people of the region.

The Finance Minister shared with Owen Jenkins about the important developments in the Pak-Afghanistan economic cooperation ever since the change of regime in Afghanistan. He apprised Owen Jenkins about the headway both countries  have achieved during the recently concluded Joint Economic Commission meeting, especially in the realm of trade facilitation.

He told the visiting dignitary about the projects that Pakistan has undertaken in Afghanistan as a goodwill gesture  and gave him details of the Kabul-Jalalabad highway project
which is progressing well.

He said Pakistan aimed at promoting regional connectivity in collaboration with the brotherly Islamic country.The Minister lauded the role of DFID for the Social safety sector in the country. Senior officials of the Ministry of Finance also attended the meeting.