- World Bank working on a number of projects in Pakistan and also interested in providing full support to social security projects, says its senior official
ISLAMABAD: The World Bank is working on a number of projects in Pakistan and is also interested in providing full support to social security projects.
This was stated by the World Bank, South Asia Regional Vice President Hartwig Schafer, who held a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan, on Thursday.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has stated that the poverty alleviation ‘Ehsaas programme’ is unique and the biggest one, adding that ‘Ehsaas’ programme is being cited as an example. He said he is hopeful that Kamyab Jawan programme will also be an exemplary programme.
The meeting was attended by Country Director World Bank Najib Bin Hussain, federal ministers Shaukat Tarin, Omar Ayub, Governor SBP Dr Reza Baqir, and others.
The meeting discussed Pakistan’s economic situation, especially, positive economic indicators and circular debt and increase in exports despite, Covid as well as government’s initiatives focusing on SDGs. Easy loans to farmers and access to markets through improved infrastructure also came under discussion.
The discussion also focused on improvements in the communication system with optical fiber, which helps in keeping the educational activities active in lockdown, measures taken for the development of the people of the merged districts, prevention of environmental pollution including forest care, said the Prime Minister’s Office, adding that the ‘Ten Billion Trees Tsunami’ programme and restriction on running of coal power plants also came under discussion.
The meeting also held a discussion on Pakistan’s debt-to-GDP ratio with the government team maintaining that Pakistan’s debt-to-GDP ratio was the lowest last year compared to the other countries where the IMF programme were ongoing.
The participants were also informed that the government, instead of putting more burden on the existing taxpayers, is pursuing a policy of economic growth, which will not only create employment opportunities but also increase the revenue as well as income of people.
Regional Vice President of the WB stated that not only the WB but the entire world is appreciative of Pakistan’s poverty alleviation Ehsaas Programme.
He added that the WB is working on a number of projects in Pakistan and is also interested in providing full support to social security projects.
He further stated the government policy of smartlockdown and economic reform during Covid is also commendable.
The prime minister thanked the WB for its cooperation with Pakistan in difficult times and said that one of the top priorities of the government was to provide protection to the economically weaker sections of society.
The prime minister said that Kamyab Jawan programme will be launched soon, which will provide loans to farmers on easy terms to provide assistance, affordable housing and ease of doing business.
“Unfortunately, commodity prices have risen by 40 per cent worldwide and the government is trying to provide relief by reducing the burden on people,” he said.
The government also considers economic development to provide employment to the youth of this country as its top priority, the PM said.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021