World Bank Supports Pakistan's Reform Program

The World Bank on May 22 approved US$ 350 million credit to support the Government of Pakistan's medium-term reform program, which aims at promoting sustained economic growth as its main vehicle for poverty reduction. The Second Poverty Reduction Support Credit (PRSC II), which supports the government's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, will finance reforms designed to maintain macro-economic stability, improve management and effectiveness of public expenditures, and facilitate power sector reforms.
It will also support privatization program, improve the regulatory framework for competition, and enhance female labor force participation and labor market flexibility.
Over the last six years, Pakistan has emerged as one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, with rising per capita income, and improving social indicators.
Growth has averaged 7 percent between 2003/04-2005/06, and the poverty ratio has fallen significantly in recent years. The country has also made impressive strides in deregulating its economy to increase competition and reduce cost of doing business, and implementing structural reforms, particularly in the power sector.
"Economic reforms are now contributing to increased investor interest from Pakistanis and foreign investors alike," said Yusupha Crookes, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan.
"The ongoing reform program supported by this project will contribute to sustain rapid growth. We hope this, along with policy reforms and public investments to increase poor people's participation in the economy, will accelerate the country's progress towards reaching the Millennium Development Goals."
The PRSC II will also support improved governance through reforms in financial management, procurement, and the statistical system. It will help accelerate progress in human development by creating additional public resources for education and health, and strengthening the health and education national sector policies.

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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