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ISLAMABAD: Najy Benhassine, Country Director of the World Bank Group made a courtesy call on the Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Muhammad Hammad Azhar at the Finance Division.

While welcoming the Country Director, the Finance Minister acknowledged the pivotal role being played by the World Bank in implementing a series of reforms aimed at strengthening the social sector, broadening the tax base, harmonising General Sales Tax, improving fiscal and debt management in the country.

While speaking on the occasion, the Finance Minister reiterated the firm commitment of the Government in implementing the reform agenda for socio-economic development of its people as envisioned by the leadership. The continued support of the World Bank is critical for Pakistan to achieve strong, sustainable and inclusive growth, he added.

The Country Director complimented the Finance Minister on assuming the additional responsibilities and thanked the Government of Pakistan for streamlining processes for the completion of various projects which are of bilateral interest.

The Finance Minister concluded that the Government’s focus would be on pursuing social, financial and economic management, strengthening the social sectors, enhancing tax revenue generation and setting the energy sector in order. The Finance Minister lauded the World Bank’s IDA financing for the Crisis-Resilient Social Protection (CRISP) Program to expand the poverty alleviation and social safety “Ehsaas Program” in order to protect the vulnerable households and increase resilience to economic shocks such as COVID-19 pandemic.

He also appreciated the World Bank’s funding for the Prime Minister’s Green Stimulus Initiative to boost green jobs for workers who have been laid off during COVID-19.—PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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