- The World Bank appreciated the reform agenda of the present Government and reiterated commitment to support Pakistan through IDA 2020, during COVID-19 crisis.
ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh held a virtual meeting with Managing Director, World Bank Axel Van Trotsenburg, and Vice President SAR, World Bank Hartwing Schafer, as part of virtual annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank 2020.
The meeting was also attended by Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Khusro Bakhtiar and SAPM on Petroleum, Nadeem Babar. Governor State Bank, Dr Reza Baqar also participated in the meeting through video link.
Adviser Finance appreciated the role of the World Bank in extending assistance to Pakistan to provide much-needed fiscal space to fight COVID-19 pandemic effectively. World Bank is our long-running development partner, he added.
In his remarks, Adviser Finance gave an overview of the current economic situation and highlighted reforms for sustainable economic growth.
The Government of Pakistan has followed an aggressive policy for curtailing it's expenditure and focused on raising revenues by mobilizing internal resources.
Tax collection increased by 17% before COVID-19 crisis. The primary deficit was in surplus in March 2020, which was a great achievement. Unfortunately, the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis has reversed the economic gains, he stated.
Adviser Finance underlined that Government of Pakistan devised a mechanism for cash transfer to support 16 million deserving families during testing times.
The Ehsaas Program was acknowledged due to its transparency and in-time facilitation during the pandemic. Likewise, Government took numbers of steps to keep small businesses afloat by sharing the load through subsidies on pay rolls etc.
On the occasion, SAPM on Petroleum and Minister for Economic Affairs briefed about the efforts underway in the energy sector, for bringing efficiency into the system by streamlining ageing power plants in the Government sector and commitment to resort to renewable energy in future.
The World Bank appreciated the reform agenda of the present Government and reiterated commitment to support Pakistan through IDA 2020, during COVID-19 crisis.