ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday reiterated the government’s resolve towards strengthening of economy, ensuring transparency and good governance, institutional reforms, tax reforms and socioeconomic development of marginalized sections of the society.

Talking to President of World Bank Group David Malpass and his delegation, he said ease of doing business, enhancing tax base, domestic resource mobilization, attracting foreign investment and financial reforms agendas the foremost priority of the government.

President of World Bank was accompanied by Regional VP South Asia Hartwig Schafer, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu-Dutz, Regional Vice President IFC Snezana Stolijkovic and Country Director of World Bank Pakistan Patchamuthu Illangovan.

WB appreciates govt’s efforts for economic turnaround

Pakistani side comprised of Minister for Economic Affairs Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Minister for Planning Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda, Advisor on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Advisor on Institutional Reforms Dr Ishrat Hussain, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Dr Sania Nishtar, Governor State Bank Raza Baqir, Chairman of Federal Board of Revenue Syed Shabbar Zaidi and senior officers.

The prime minister, while welcoming the President of World Bank to Pakistan, appreciated World Bank’s financial and technical support to Pakistan.

He apprised that the government had launched various initiatives aimed at welfare of the youth, poverty alleviation and housing sectors that would ultimately result in economic development.

President of World Bank Group, David Malpass lauded Prime Minister Khan for personally spearheading various flagship programmes of the government.

He also recognised the efforts of the government towards economic turn-around, reducing expenditures, practicing austerity and initiating reforms in critical sectors of the economy.

He said there was substantial progress in economic indicators despite global and internal fiscal challenges.

Later, a round-table conference was also held wherein detailed discussions were held on issues related to energy sector and reforming tax regime of the country.

Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar, in his opening remarks, highlighted overall reform agenda of the government and the efforts being made for economic turn-around.

Adviser on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh gave an overview of the achievements made by the government during last one year. He also underlined the efforts made by the government to stabilize the economy and to put it onto the path of growth.

He said there was a considerable progress this year on exports, containing fiscal and current account deficits, revenue collection, restricting expenditures and exchange rate stabilization.

Minister for Power Omar Ayub Khan and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Energy Nadeem Babar shared the strategy of the government to overcome the issues related to energy sector including circular debt and efforts being made to diversify energy-mix with greater reliance on alternate and renewable energy resources.