World Bank Vice President for South Asia Region Hartwig Schafer held meetings with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Tuesday.
Two of the World Bank programs to help Pakistan implement reforms were discussed in the meetings.
As Miftah Ismail held talks with Schafer, Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Dr. Aisha Ghous Pasha, Country Director WB Najy Benhassine, Acting Governor SBP Dr Murtaza Syed, secretary finance, secretary Power Division, secretary EAD, chairman FBR and other senior officers also participated.
The finance minister informed the World Bank vice president that the country is currently facing monetary and fiscal challenges due to rising global commodity prices and that the government is taking pragmatic steps to resolve bottlenecks to growth.
The present government is committed to set the economy on a sustainable and inclusive growth path, he said.
Miftah Ismail shared that the upcoming budget aims at bringing in fiscal consolidation and improving the overall resilience of the economy. For this reason, government is planning to provide various relief measures for protecting the vulnerable segments of the society.
The finance minister further stated that present government will introduce reforms in priority areas to address fiscal deficits. In this context, two programs of World Bank named Resilient Institution for Sustainable Economy (RISE-II) and Program for Affordable and Clean Energy (PACE-II) hold a central position in the reform agenda of government.
Schafer shared his insights about 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 said.
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.
The finance minister thanked the World Bank vice president and acknowledged the significant contribution of the Bank in the socioeconomic development of country.
The minister also emphasized that the World Bank’s continued support will be critical to reforms being pursued by the government of Pakistan.
Schafer assured his full support to government of Pakistan in implementation of the government’s reform agenda and the projects funded by the World Bank.