ADB sees Pakistan prospering with momentous structural reforms

ADB-Asia

ISLAMABAD, May 9 (APP): A top official of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said that Pakistan could secure a brighter future despite the existing challenges on various fronts by persuading the rigorous reforms agenda and improving the public sector management.

“As long as Pakistan puts its internal things in a proper order, I think there is no reason why Pakistan should not be prospering,” Director General of Central and West Asia Department Yevgeniy Zhukov said while talking to APP on the sidelines of ADB’s 56th annual Board of Governors meeting that concluded last week in South Korean city – Incheon.

He said Pakistan should be doing quite well, adding “If the public sector governance is improved and the government in place brings reforms, I think the future of Pakistan should be quite bright.”

ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa while inaugurating the four-day moot had assured the bank’s continued support for the incumbent government’s critical and structural reforms at a time when the country recently witnessed devastating floods caused by climate change.

He had reaffirmed the support policy measures to improve the economic condition of the country and fiscal space for enhanced social protection transfers.

The ADB president viewed Pakistan was taking ‘quick’ required stabilization measures by containing spending, enhancing tax revenues and improving the financial sustainability of the energy sector.

He said the bank would continue supporting Pakistan in these reforms through Policy-based lending operations to help improve the economy and financial position.

Answering a question, Zhukov said the Asian Development Bank had been extending financial assistance to the government to strengthen social security through the BISP programme.

He said the bank was engaged with the BISP since 2016 while it provided assistance of $600 million since 2021 for conditional cash transfers in the areas of health and education besides $1.5 billion, under the Countercyclical support facility of which substantial part would be going through the BISP to provide the much-needed assistance to the people mostly affected by the ongoing difficulties.

Zhukov was of the view that Pakistan should improve revenue collection as it has one of the lowest tax-to-GDP ratios standing at only 10 percent, whereas there are countries in the region having Tax to GDP ratio of about 20 percent to 25 percent.

If the Pakistan government is collecting only 10 percent, it may not have enough money to provide support and enhance income, he cautioned.

“It is important for the current and coming governments to continue working seriously on the structural reforms for the domestic-resource mobilization,” he remarked.

APP Services