Govt implementing reform agenda for socioeconomic development: Hammad

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Muhammad Hammad Azhar Friday said the government’s focus would be on pursuing social, financial and economic management; strengthening the social sectors; enhancing tax revenue generation and setting the energy sector in order.

He was talking to the World Bank (WB) Country Director, Najy Benhassine who made a courtesy call on him, according to a press statement issued by the finance ministry.

Welcoming the country director, the finance minister acknowledged the pivotal role being played by the World Bank in implementing a series of reforms aimed at strengthening the social sector, broadening the tax base, harmonizing general sales tax, improving fiscal and debt management in the country.

He reiterated the firm commitment of his government in implementing the reform agenda for socioeconomic development of its people as envisioned by the leadership.

The continued support of the World Bank was critical for Pakistan to achieve strong, sustainable and inclusive growth, he added.

The finance minister lauded the World Bank’s IDA financing for the Crisis-Resilient Social Protection (CRISP) Programme to expand the poverty alleviation and social safety “Ehsaas Programme” in order to protect the vulnerable households and increase resilience to economic shocks such as COVID-19 pandemic.

He also appreciated the World Bank’s funding for the Prime Minister’s Green Stimulus Initiative to boost green jobs for workers who had been laid off during COVID-19.

On the occasion, the World Bank country director complimented the finance minister on assuming the additional responsibilities and thanked the government of Pakistan for streamlining processes for the completion of various projects which are of bilateral interest.