WB pledges assistance for Pakistan’s reform program on economic growth strategy


ISLAMABAD: The World Bank Regional Vice President for South Asia, Hartwig Schafer on Monday held a meeting with Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr. Mohammad Jahanzeb Khan and discussed the country’s development priorities and supported Pakistan’s ambitious reform program on economic growth strategy.

Mr. Schafer was accompanied by the Country Director for Pakistan, Mr. Najy Benhassine, Lire Ersado, Program Leader, Human Development World Bank, and Abedalrazq F Khalil, Program Lead Sustainable Development, World Bank. Shabih Ali Mohib, Program Leader, Equitable Growth, Finance & Institutes, and Gondalo J. Varela, Senior Economist.

From the Pakistani side, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission was accompanied by Muhammad Breach, Secretary Planning Commission, Muhammad Ahmed Zubair, Chief Economist, Waqas Bin Najib, Member Energy, Dr. Shabnum Sarfraz, Member Social Sector & Development, Maj Gen (retd) Dr. Zahir Shah, Member I&M, Asim Saeed Member, PSD&C and Chief Executive Officer CEO, P3A Board Malik Ahmed.

During the meeting, the Deputy Chairman Planning Commission briefed the delegation about the development progress in various sectors which includes energy, climate change, education, health, Agriculture, and others. Currently, Pakistan is growing at 4-4.5% and it can easily go up to 6-7 %, said the Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, while highlighting the growth strategy of the country.

He informed the delegation that the private sector should be fully enabled to play a leading role.

Dr. Mohammad Jahanzeb urged the World Bank to continue to support the government of Pakistan to implement the projects. Key members of the Planning Commission also briefed the delegation about the progress in their respective sectors.

During the meeting, Mr Hartwig Schafer appreciated the steps taken by the Planning Commission in various sectors, especially in Agriculture and Gender. The Vice President underscored the need for structured reforms while appreciating the Planning Commission for approving key projects funded by the World Bank which includes the National Health Support Program, KP Rural (Road) Accessibility Project, Girl’s Results Agenda for Development of Education Sector in Punjab.

Similarly, the government’s development priorities for the next few years were also discussed in various sectors. Mr. Schafer stressed the Planning Commission to focus on Coal and Hydro Power projects which will help Pakistan to meet its energy needs and would contribute toward increased growth rate essential for further progress of the country.

He assured his full support in future to implement the projects funded by the World Bank.

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