Reform programme on track, partnership with Canada to continue

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Staff Reporter

Islamabad

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Hammad Azhar said that Pakistan’s economic reform programme is on track and long-term development partnership with Canada will continue.
Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Minister for Economic Affairs expressed these views during meeting with high level Canadian delegation led by Hon. Ms Leslie Maclean Deputy Minister of International Development of Canada at Economic Affairs Division here on Thursday.
Both sides discuss Pakistan’s development agenda, impact of Canada’s development assistance to Pakistan, current issues affecting delivery of development assistance and how the Development Partners can support in its delivery in future. Minister for Economic Affairs expressed gratitude to the visiting delegate, taking interest in development partnership with Pakistan and appreciated that Canada had been supporting Pakistan through humanitarian as well as technical assistance in various projects carried out through the provincial governments and civil society organizations.
Minister also highlighted that the Government authorities remain committed to expanding the social safety nets, reducing poverty, and accord priority to other social issues such as health, education, clean drinking water and providing subsidized energy by not enhancing tariff rates for the lower income group.
Minister for Economic Affairs emphasised on identification and formulation of few simple and focussed priority projects interventions with clearly visible results as too many and muti-sectoral projects lose effectives & efficiency to pass benefits to the people. The Deputy Minister of International Development stated that visit of high level delegation from Canada signifies importance Canada gives to Pakistan in long term development partnership and desired to know about development priorities of Pakistan.
The Canadian side appreciated the suggestion and assured to build strong and sustainable development partnership with greater focus on simplicity, monitoring, effectiveness, transparency and accountability. Both sides also exchanged views on the prospects of the mutual economic cooperation in multiple sectors and IMF plan for Pakistan. The Federal Minister for Economic Affairs briefed the delegation about the economic challenges faced by Pakistan and the recent developments and outlooks and highlighted improved indicators of Pakistani economy despite enormous challenges.
Pakistan’s economic reform programme is on track and IMF Executive Board is undertaking second review of Pakistan’s Extended Fund Facility and Pakistan progress is quite satisfactory in this regard. Both the sides expressed firm resolve to continue such interactions at higher level to better understand the development needs, opportunities of cooperation and investment in the emerging sectors.