The World Bank and Pakistan on Tuesday signed three loan agreements providing capital for development across various sectors as part of the government’s plan to steer the nation out of the economic crisis.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Hafeez Sheikh oversaw the signing ceremony that granted a total of $918 million to Pakistan.
The first tranche worth $400 million is targeted at raising revenue to contribute to a sustainable increase in domestic income by broadening the tax base and facilitating compliance.
The initiative is directed at increasing the number of active taxpayers to 3.5 million, reducing the compliance burden of paying taxes and improving the efficiency of customs control.
Another $400m agreement is a higher education development programme pursuing to nurture academic excellence in strategic sectors of the country’s ailing economy. Alongside improved governance, the scheme aims to equip students and institutions with modern technology, information systems and data-driven services, project management, monitoring and evaluation.
The third programme, worth $118m, is earmarked for revenue mobilisation and resource management project for the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P). The objective of the programme is to upgrade public resource management.
The project will also aid the K-P government in addressing fiscal constraints, particularly in investment and public service provisions.
Secretary Economic Affairs Division Noor Ahmed signed the financing agreements on behalf of Pakistan whereas Country Director WB Patchamuthu Illangovan represented the global funding body.
Sheikh also expressed gratitude to Illangovan for extending continuous support to the government.