Pakistan poised to become fast growing economy: WB

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World Bank (WB) President Jim Yong Kim has said that Pakistan is poised to become the next fast growing successful economy due to important steps taken by the government over the past few years.

Addressing a meeting on the country’s economic performance on Tuesday, he pointed out that the country has made significant strides to achieve micro economic stability and enhance its domestic revenues by introducing reforms in the tax system.

He said that the country had also undertaken a number of important steps to improve business climate. He said that Pakistan has an important geo strategic location and peace and stability in the country is imperative for the entire world.

He said the World Bank, being a partner, will support the government’s initiatives to bolster economic growth and provide assistance in the areas of need.

“We are not visiting Pakistan to give prescriptions but will lend support to further consolidate gains made in the economic sector,” he said.

The World Bank president emphasised the need for bringing dynamism in the private sector saying this will generate immense employment opportunities and lift the people out of poverty. He also underlined the need for more investments in the education and health sectors.

Earlier, Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar apprised the World Bank president about the country’s economic performance. He said the present government assumed power in difficult circumstances but due to prudent policies, it averted the default.

He said the revenue collection has witnessed significant growth over the last three years and budget deficit has been reduced. He said we are on track to reduce it to 4.3 per cent during the current fiscal year.

The minister said that the country is expected to achieve more than five per cent of GDP growth due to improved performance of various sectors particularly manufacturing. He said the inflation had been brought down to 2.1 per cent, which is the lowest in the last twelve years.

Dar said that allocations for social safety nets have been tripled to protect the vulnerable groups. He said that, currently, five million deserving families are being provided stipends under the Income Support Programme and the government’s target is to enhance it to 5.4 million families by the end of this year.

He said that as part of efforts to give an impetus to economic growth, development spending has been doubled. He said the government is also on track to address the energy crisis and by the end of March 2018, 10,000 MW of electricity will be added to the national grid.

He said privatisation policy is being pursued to improve the performance and service delivery of public sector enterprises. He said the country is treading the right path to consolidate the gains achieved over the past few years. He said the policies are aimed at ensuring inclusive and sustainable growth in the years to come.

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