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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Omar Ayub Khan, held a meeting with John Hurley, USA’s Alternative Executive Director to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), said a press release.

Mian Asad Hayaud Din, secretary, Economic Affairs Division, Yong Ye, country director, ADB, and Noor Ahmed, Pakistan’s executive director to the ADB also attended the meeting.

The minister welcomed Hurley on his first official visit to Pakistan and expressed his gratitude to the ADB management for efficiently processing and successfully procuring Covid-19 vaccines to support the government’s national vaccination drive.

The minister highlighted the financial and budgetary importance of the two ADB-funded program loans, intended to target reform initiatives within the energy and capital markets sectors.

The minister informed Hurley that under these reform initiatives, the government intends to move away 70 percent of energy production from fossil fuels to hydel-based and renewable sources by 2030.

John Hurley, reiterated the ADB’s commitment to support Pakistan’s reform agendas, especially within the energy and financial markets sectors, and to speed up the economic recovery process as soon as the ongoing IMF Review is completed.

Hurley appreciated the government’s national vaccination drive, and informed the minister that the APVAX facility remains available, if the government chooses to opt for additional financing of the Covid-19 vaccines in the near future.

Hurley also emphasised the importance of pipeline ADB Funded Program Loans, such as the Domestic Resource Mobilization Program to increase the tax base, and enhance the overall revenue collection targets of the country for future debt sustainability and growth.

The minister said that given the rapid pace of urbanisation and population growth, urban services sector was a priority area of the present government.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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