Dar to dis­cuss en­ergy, in­fra­struc­ture as­sis­tance with World Bank

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

Federal Min­is­ter for Fi­nance, Mo­ham­mad Ishaq Dar on Sun­day, ap­pre­ci­at­ing World Bank's Coun­try Part­ner­ship Strat­egy (2015-19), said he would dis­cuss the bank's as­sis­tance for coun­try's en­ergy and in­fra­struc­ture projects. The Fi­nance Min­is­ter said that dur­ing his forth­com­ing visit to Wash­ing­ton DC, he will hold dis­cus­sions with World Bank of­fi­cials on as­sist­ing Pak­istan in its en­ergy and in­fra­struc­ture re­lated projects.

The Fi­nance Min­is­ter was speak­ing at a meet­ing at Eco­nomic Af­fairs Di­vi­sion (EAD) to dis­cuss Coun­try Part­ner­ship Strat­egy (2015-19) for Pak­istan, pre­pared by World Bank. He said that tack­ling the en­ergy cri­sis with low-cost gen­er­a­tion op­tions, like hy­dro-power and im­prov­ing ac­cess to com­mu­nity-led small-scale of­f­grid and re­new­able en­ergy sources for re­mote ar­eas of Balochis­tan and FATA, re­mains on pri­or­ity.

Dar ap­pre­ci­ated that for the first time the coun­try part­ner­ship strat­egy has been de­vel­oped through a con­sul­ta­tive process based on na­tional de­vel­op­ment agenda and in line with the na­tional in­ter­est and pri­or­i­ties. He ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion over the co­op­er­a­tion of the World Bank group and its af­fil­i­a­tion.

He hoped that the World Bank will help Pak­istan in fos­ter­ing en­trepreneur­ship and ac­cess to fi­nance, in­creas­ing eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties and pro­duc­tively en­gag­ing youth and women. Ear­lier Sec­re­tary EAD, Ms. Nar­gis Sethi briefed the Fi­nance Min­is­ter, Se­na­tor Mo­ham­mad Ishaq Dar about Coun­try Part­ner­ship Strat­egy (201519) for Pak­istan, pre­pared by World Bank.

The Sec­re­tary in­formed the Min­is­ter that the World Bank Group (WBG) was pre­par­ing a new strat­egy for Pak­istan, which will guide the en­gage­ment of its three in­sti­tu­tions in­clud­ing WB, In­ter­na­tional Fi­nance Cor­po­ra­tion and Mul­ti­lat­eral In­ter­na­tional Guar­an­tee Agency for the next five years and will be de­signed to fo­cus on the twin goals of end­ing ex­treme poverty and pro­mot­ing shared pros­per­ity. She in­formed that the fi­nan­cial en­velop for Pak­istan, which was around $ 9 bil­lion in the pre­vi­ous Coun­try Strat­egy Part­ner­ship 2010-14, has now been pro­posed to be con­sid­er­ably en­hanced.

She in­formed that dur­ing the con­sul­ta­tions process over 30 meet­ings, the WBG team met with over 400 in­di­vid­u­als, from civil so­ci­ety or­ga­ni­za­tions, me­dia rep­re­sen­ta­tives, parliamentarians, po­lit­i­cal lead­ers, Chief Min­is­ters and cab­i­net mem­bers, civil ser­vants, aca­demics, think tanks, youth groups, the pri­vate sec­tor, and other lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional de­vel­op­ment part­ners. She men­tioned that the fo­cus of the in­ter­na­tional donors re­mains tack­ling the en­ergy cri­sis, in­creas­ing eco­nomic op­por­tu­nity for women and youth, im­prov­ing ser­vice de­liv­ery, ad­dress­ing in­equal­ity, and com­bat­ing cli­mate change.

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