By Anzil Amin
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday appreciated the support of the World Bank in the socio-economic development of Pakistan.
World Bank Vice-President for South Asia Region Hartwig Schafer called on the prime minister Tuesday, a statement issued in this regard said.
Welcoming the vice-president, the premier expressed the desire to further strengthen the cooperation between the two sides, especially in the fields of agriculture, vocational training, and energy. Both sides agreed to remain in close contact and work together for achieving shared objectives.
Hartwig Schafer assured full support in future to implement projects funded by the institution and the economic reforms in the country. During a meeting with Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Dr Mohammad Jahanzeb Khan, Schafer appreciated the steps taken by the planning commission in various sectors, especially in agriculture and gender.
According to a statement, they discussed the country’s development priorities and support for Pakistan’s ambitious reform programme on economic growth strategy.
The Planning Commission official briefed the delegation about the development in various sectors including energy, climate change, education, health, agriculture and others.
Dr Jahanzeb urged the World Bank to continue to support the government of Pakistan in order to implement the projects.
Meanwhile, Federal Minster for Finance and Revenue, Miftah Ismail, held a meeting with Mr. Hartwig Schafer, Vice President South Asia Region (SAR), World Bank. Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Dr. Aisha Ghous Pasha, Country Director WB Mr. Najy Benhassine, Acting Governor SBP Dr. Murtaza Syed, Secretary Finance, Secretary Power Division, Secretary EAD, Chairman FBR and other senior officers attended the meeting.
According to a statement released by Finance Ministry, Miftah welcomed Mr. Hartwig Schafer and shared that country is currently facing monetary and fiscal challenges due to rising global commodity prices.
The Finance Minister further stated that present government would introduce reforms in priority areas to address fiscal deficits.
In this context, two programs of World Bank named Resilient Institution for Sustainable Economy (RISE-and Program for Affordable and Clean Energy (PACE-II) hold a central position in the reform agenda of government.
He said the government was cognizant of these issues and taking pragmatic steps to resolve bottlenecks to growth. “The present government is committed to set the economy on sustainable and inclusive growth path,” Miftah said.
The Finance Minister also emphasized that the World Bank’s continued support would be critical to reforms being pursued by the government of Pakistan.
Mr. Hartwig Schafer shared his insights about the reforms initiatives proposed by the World Bank. These programs not only ensure sustainable growth but also work as effective shock absorbers in case of any economic crisis.
He appreciated the resolve of the Government of Pakistan in overcoming the economic challenges. Key areas discussed in the meeting included macro-economic situation of the country, fiscal responsibility and debt limitation laws, and financial sustainability of the power sector, he said.
The Finance Minister thanked the VP, World Bank and acknowledged the significant contribution of the World Bank in the socioeconomic development of country.
Mr. Hartwig Schafer assured his full support to Govt of Pakistan in implementation of the Government’s reform agenda and the projects funded by the World Bank.