WB allocates $1.8 billion for Pakistan development projects

World Bank

WASHINGTON: The World Bank (WB) has allocated an unprecedented amount of $1.8 billion for Pakistan’s development projects, mainly in energy sector, in the current year, Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said after holding a meeting with World Bank Vice President Isabel Guerrero on Friday.

Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States Sherry Rehman also attended the meeting during the IMF-WB annual spring gathering of economic leaders from across the world.The WB has also agreed to assist with financing for a multi-year Dassu Dam, to be built in Kohistan area on River Indus with a 1500MW power generation capacity. The WB Board has already approved power generation enhancement project.“This is a big sign of confidence in Pakistan’s ability to accomplish development for its people that the World Bank is allocating an unprecedented amount in one year,” Shaikh said.

The amount follows last year’s $1.2 billion assistance, and will be spent on completion of development projects in energy and water sectors as well as infrastructure, social and reform programmes.The WB vice president was appreciative of Pakistan’s economic performance in these difficult times of global economic and regional challenges, the finance minister said.Shaikh acknowledged the bank’s sustained cooperation with Pakistan, calling the financial institution a reliable development partner of the country.

The World Bank leader expressed satisfaction with the measures Islamabad has taken to enhance its revenue generation (which has increased by 25 percent over the last nine months), the continuing strong performance of the external sector, both exports and remittances and a healthy 4 percent GDP growth expected this year.He thanked WB Vice President Isabel Guerrero’s and lauded the dedication of World Bank Pakistan country team headed by executive director Javed Talat.

Sherry said it is heartening to see the international financial institutions’ expression of faith in Pakistan’s commitment to development.“This signifies that both the international community and the financial institutions have a growing confidence in Pakistan’s dedication and ability to realise development for its people,” she said.Finance Secretary Abdul Wajid Rana, Economic Affairs Division Secretary Dr Waqar Masood, State Bank Governor Yaseen Anwar, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Dr Nadeem, Economic Minister at the Pakistani embassy in Washington Mohsin Mushtaq Chandana, Executive Director for Pakistan at the World Bank Talat Javed and Pakistan’s Director for IMF Saleem Sethi were also present. – Dailytimes