Islamabad, October 13, 2014 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar met the Vice President of World Bank’s South Asian Region Mr. Philippe Houerou at the World Bank, Washington DC. Mr. Houerou said that World Bank wishes to fast track funding of Dasu hydropower project and Tarbela power projects. He also reiterated his resolve to supporting Pakistan Government’s reforms agenda, especially Pakistan’s ongoing energy projects.
The Finance Minister, while recalling the state of Pakistan’s economy at the time when the present government took over, expressed his gratitude for World Bank’s unwavering support for Pakistan’s economic revival in the form of Country Strategy Partnership and support of government’s priority area of four E’s.
Mr. Houerou congratulated the Finance Minister on the succefull negotiation and signing of CASA-1000 Transit Pricing Agreement between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mr. Houerou termed the Agreement historic and commended the resolve shown by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif last year for conclusion of the Agreement.
Senator Dar acknowledged the World Bank’s assistance for conclusion of CASA-1000 Agreement. He said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is hoping to have close cooperation in political and economic spheres with the new government in Afghanistan. CASA-1000 Agreement is a good start in this regards.
Senator Dar extended special thanks to Mr. Houerou for great help the World Bank and IMF provided on IDA-16 and said that Pakistan is now banking on IDA-17.
Referring to the recent flash floods and Zarb-e-Azb, the Finance Minister noted that almost a million Internally Dislocated People. The government, he said, is thinking to avail of the offer by some multilateral donors and friendly countries for their rehabilitation once UN sponsored Recovery Need Assessment (RNA) is available.
Mr. Houerou offered his condolence on the loss of thousands of lives and displacement of people due to flash floods. He expressed his readiness to support in the rehabilitation and reconstruction phase. The Finance Minister said that the government has successfully undertaken tax reforms and the first batch of SROs has been eliminated.
Senator Dar briefed about the healthy trends in the economy of the country as a result of government policies, the Revenue Growth for example, he especially mentioned, had witnessed 16.4% growth rate during the last fiscal year and the government is eyeing for 20% growth this year despite all challenges.
Senator Dar referred to the useful meeting of President World Bank with the Prime Minister in New York last month and hoped that the issues of debt financing, tariff adjustments and fuel reductions would be resolved soon.
Mr. Houerou commended the approach of government of Pakistan in addressing the issue of sit-ins through political dialogue. Senator Dar apprised the Vice President of the government’s serious pursuit of reform agenda regardless of all odds and said that allocation of funds for Public Service and uplift of the poor have significantly been increased in the current financial year.
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