A senior Pakistani official said the Cabinet approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during its meeting on Monday.

The issue of electricity trade had come up for discussion during the meeting between Commerce Minister Anand Sharma and Chief Minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif during his visit to India last month.

Minister for Commerce and Textile Industries Khurram Dastgir Khan, who was in India recently, said establishment of trade ties with neighbouring countries are one of the top priorities of the government.

The minister said trade relations are in favour of people of both Pakistan and India. He had said a proposal to purchase electricity from India is under consideration to meet the country's short-term demand.

"Both sides agreed that ongoing technical talks for electricity transmission line and bilateral trade of power/gas need to be revitalized, so that there is tangible progress for actual flow of gas and power between both the countries," an official statement had said.

Chief Minister Sharif also visited Mahatma Gandhi Power project in Haryana after which he had said Pakistan would welcome India's offer for supply of electricity to Pakistan at a reasonable rate.

He said Pakistan would seek cooperation of any country for getting its people rid of darkness.

India has expressed its intent to export electricity to the tune of 500 MW to Pakistan immediately if infrastructure for transmission of power is made available.

Pakistani daily Business Recorder said during preliminary discussions, the Indian side highlighted issues like frequency synchronization, quantity of power flowing through the system, and issues of short circuiting, distance/fault in one area having an impact on other areas.

The Pakistani side, however, indicated solutions to interconnection problems and requested further discussions to redress Indian concerns, the report said.

The focal authority for Pakistan will be National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) while for India, the authority will be Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL).

The daily said it was agreed that as the first step, an interconnection will be built between Amritsar and Lahore.

(Agencies)

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