Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday said the government has been pursuing the agenda of development and reform with a strong commitment and leadership specifically focusing on plans for energy and poverty eradication. Talking to a delegation led by Managing Director, the World Bank Sri Mulyani Indrawati, here on the sidelines of the London Conference, he said the government is trying to turn Pakistan’s challenges into opportunities through sound economic planning, good governance and consistency in policy implementation.
Executive Director, the World Bank, Nasir Mahmood Khosa, was also present during the meeting. Indrawati also delivered a letter to the Prime Minister from the World Bank President, Jim Kim offering its assistance towards Polio and other immunisations in Pakistan. The World Bank also offered support for the internally displaced persons and flood affected people in Pakistan.
Prime Minister Sharif highly appreciated that the World Bank is helping Pakistan in policy-based support for strengthening the business environment, especially in the provinces, to improve productivity of farms and businesses, and make cities more growth friendly to create productive and better jobs for the youth. He said energy sector and infrastructure development were government’s priority while it was also taking steps to link Gwadar with Kashgar as a modern trade corridor equivalent to the ancient silk route.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan welcomes the World Bank’s support for construction and rehabilitation of national highways besides revival of railway and also restructuring of public sector enterprises. He said it will be helpful if the World Bank also helps in creating job opportunities through strengthening of private sector, microfinance, small business loans and youth training, while especially focusing on rural economy in the neglected areas.
In the Social Protection Sector, continued support of the World Bank for the income support programme would help alleviate poverty, the Prime Minister said. Appreciating the World Bank’s support to it since 1952, the Prime Minister said Pakistan was implementing the new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) (2015-19) since July 2014, which was aligned with the government’s economic development agenda. He said CPS focuses on transforming the energy sector, supporting private sector development, improving service delivery, reaching out to the undeserved, neglected and poor and leveraging the regional market.
The World Bank’s support in these areas will help achieve economic growth and bring prosperity to the country, he said and appreciated the World Bank’s assistance in the construction of Dasu Hydropower Project. The Prime Minister appreciated the role of the World Bank in financing Tarbela IV and said that preparatory work on Tarbela V has also started. He termed CASA-1000 as an important project in the context of regional connectivity.