WB official, FM discuss ongoing development projects



Vice President of World Bank for the South Asian Region, Ms. Annette Dixon, called on the Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, here Friday. She was accompanied by the Country Director World Bank, Mr.Patchamuthu Illangovan, and other senior officials of the World Bank.
The Finance Minister welcomed Vice President World Bank to Pakistan. The current portfolio of the World Bank in Pakistan, including the status of various ongoing development projects, came under discussion during the meeting. The Finance Minister appreciated the support of the World Bank on various projects, and expressed satisfaction over the progress made so far on them.
The Finance Minister highlighted his recent meeting with the President World Bank on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, where they had the opportunity to build on the constructive discussions the Finance Minister had held with both President World Bank and Ms. Dixon in Washington in April 2017.
The Finance Minister highlighted the economic reforms that have been undertaken by the present government which have enabled Pakistan to achieve macroeconomic stability. He acknowledged the support of the World Bank in this regard. He said that the government is now focused on achieving higher, sustainable and inclusive economic growth. He highlighted that Pakistan achieved GDP growth rate of 5.28% during FY 2016-17, which is a ten-year high.
The Finance Minister said that the government is actively working on energy projects as a top priority, and is aiming to add 10,000 MW of electricity to the system by March 2018, which will facilitate the elimination of load-shedding. The Finance Minister said that budget preparations for the next fiscal year are currently in the process of being finalized.
Ms. Dixon acknowledged the success of the economic reforms implemented by the present government. She emphasized that the World Bank is committed to working in partnership with the Government of Pakistan on projects which take the development agenda forward and enable meaningful results. She said that the World Bank is keen to work with the Government of Pakistan to explore further opportunities in the renewable energy sector. She highlighted that the longstanding partnership between Pakistan and the World Bank has strengthened further during recent years.—Agencies