ISLAMABAD  - Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar has said that Pakistan is expecting to receive $1.7 billion from World Bank for different projects like Dasu Hydro Power Project during ongoing financial year and would also generate $500 million through the auction of Eurobonds.

Pakistan would generate $500 million through the auction of Eurobonds in the international market in April this year, which would help in building the country’s foreign exchange reserves, said Finance Minister while addressing launching ceremony of Government Debt Securities System in Islamabad Stock Exchange (ISE) and Lahore Stock Exchange (LSE). He added that government would hold the auction of Eurobonds after seven-year period.

Addressing the ceremony, Senator Ishaq Dar said that government would double the foreign exchange reserves of the country from exiting $10 billion in next three years. He informed that World Bank would provide financial assistance worth of $1.7 billion for Pakistan including $700 million for much needed Dasu Hydro Power Project.

Talking about the auction of telecom licences, the Finance Minister said that government would hold the auction of 3G/4G licences on 23 April of the ongoing year.

He once again reiterated to increase GDP growth to around 6-7pc, investment/GDP to rise from 12.6pc to 20pc, Tax/GDP ratio to rise from 8.5pc to 13pc, fiscal deficit to be brought down from 8.8pc to 4pc of GDP, foreign exchange reserves to be increased to around $20 billion and public debt to be reduced to below 60pc of GDP as per statutory requirement in next three years.

Senator Ishaq Dar said, “Government will issue infrastructure bonds - both in the conventional and Shariah compliance mode - through the capital market so that investors can participate in building up of Pakistan’s infrastructure backbone”. Equity markets in Pakistan have shown consistent superior performance in recent years. The KSE-100 Index stood at 19,916 on 11th May 2013 when general elections day took place in the country. The Index has risen to 26,821 as of closing yesterday - an increase of nearly 35pc, making Karachi Stock Exchange one of the best performing in the world during this time period, he added.

The Finance Minister said Pakistan’s economic growth has remained below potential for more than a decade. Despite a few spurts, sustainable high economic growth that benefits all segments of our society, rather than a few, has remained elusive. “I believe the last decade should be called a ‘lost decade’ as we have missed a great Investment-led growth entails first building up the basic infrastructure of the country - i.e. the development of various sectors including, among others, energy, transport (land, air & sea), mineral resources, information and telecommunications, agriculture, urban housing as well as industrial infrastructure. These are mega-scale, core development initiatives that require large, long term financing”, remarked the Finance Minister.