ISLAMABAD, June 23 (APP): Government of Pakistan and World Bank
here on Thursday signed Financing Agreement of US$ 500 million IDA Development Policy Credit for “Competitiveness and Growth”.

Tariq Bajwa, Secretary Economic Affairs Division signed
the agreement on behalf of Government of Pakistan while Anthony Cholst, Acting Country Director, inked it on behalf of the World Bank.

Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar who witnessed the
ceremony, welcomed signing of the agreement and said that the Government had embarked upon the much needed economic structural reforms three years ago and made substantial progress in this regard.

Referring to the Competitiveness and Growth DPC, he said that
the financial support provided by the World Bank, was meant to improve the business environment and enhance fiscal management; it focuses on simplification and streamlining of the payment of taxes; improvement in governance and transparency of policies to attract private sector investment; and remove entry barriers in the insurance sector.

In terms of Enhancing Fiscal Management the focus was on
withdrawal of discriminatory concessions granted through SROs in the past; improving debt management; and strengthening of social safety net programs, Finance Minister added.

He said that the Ministry of Finance and the World Bank team
had been working together on the DPC for quite sometime and most of the agreed reform measures had already been completed.

These reforms would enhance the competitiveness and promote
ease of doing business in the country.

Anthony Cholst in his remarks congratulated the Government of Pakistan for making significant progress in stabilizing the economy and initiating reforms for greater revenue mobilization and private sector growth.

“I would like to particularly acknowledge and appreciate the
efforts of Minister Dar and the economic leadership team for their efforts in continuing reform momentum,” Cholst said.

“This operation recognizes Pakistan’s stepped up reform
efforts in the business environment, revenue generation, state owned enterprises, debt management and making public spending more pro poor,” he added.

The World Bank Board which met on June 20, lauded Pakistan
for pursuing a reform agenda and continuation of its support to the Government.

Board members appreciated the progress made in the past three
years by the Government and highlighted the financial innovation
presented by this operation through combining IDA credit and IBRD
Policy Based Guarantee.