World Bank urges to keep up momentum in structural reforms

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Pak ministers team holds virtual meeting with World Bank’s Vice President

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue, Industries and Production, Mohammad Hammad Azhar, held a virtual meeting with Mr. Hartwig Schafer, Vice President South Asia Region, World Bank Group at the Finance Division today.

Finance Minister reiterated that the government is fully committed to implementing structural reforms, protecting social spending and boosting social safety nets in order to protect the vulnerable segments of the society. He appreciated the pivotal role being played by the World Bank in strengthening governance and service delivery through institutional reforms in Pakistan over the years.

The Federal Minister for Energy and SAPM on Power outlined the steps being taken to streamline the power sector, improving service delivery and serving the larger interest of electricity consumers. He emphasized that the government is fully committed to make power sector dynamic and more sustainable.

Minister for Economic Affairs Division (EAD) lauded the World Bank’s IDA financing for the Crisis-Resilient Social Protection (CRISP) and other projects on the occasion.

The Vice President, World Bank appreciated the government’s relief initiatives to curtail the impact of COVID-19 pandemic effectively. The Vice President reiterated the World Bank’s continuous support to the Government of Pakistan during testing times.

The World Bank also acknowledged that a lot of progress has been made on implementation of structural reforms in various sectors. There is a need to keep up the momentum once the health crisis abates, he added.

Speaking on the occasion, the Finance Minister stressed that harmonisation of General Sales Tax is a priority area for the government. The Federal and Provincial Tax authorities are working out procedures for its smooth implementation. He expressed firm resolve of the government in implementing reforms under ongoing World Bank projects.

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Division Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Federal Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan, SAPM on Power Tabish Gauhar, Governor State Bank of Pakistan Reza Baqir, Secretary Finance Division, Secretary Power Division, Secretary EAD, Chairman FBR and senior officials participated in the meeting.