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Friday Mar 31, 2017

Pakistan, WB sign $432.7mn agreement to promote economic development

Pakistan, WB sign $432.7mn agreement to promote economic development

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has signed agreements worth USD432.7 million with the World Bank (WB), which are aimed at strengthening the financial sector, improving the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and promoting economic development in KP and FATA.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said the agreements will support social protection, community development and promote small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) growth.

Secretary Economic Affairs Division Tariq Mahmood Pasha signed the loans and grants agreements on behalf of the government while project agreements were signed by the representatives of government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) Secretariat, a statement said.

Anthony Cholst said the agreements will strengthen the financial sector, bring about improvement in the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and also contribute to economic development in different areas in the KP and FATA.

Dar appreciated WB's support for government's endeavors to achieve sustainable and inclusive economic development of the country.

He said the government had taken a number of measures in line with its “4-Es” manifesto that envisioned development of economy, energy, education and fight against extremism.

As per the agreements, USD301.6 million is earmarked for meeting the development objectives of “Growth Development Policy Financing”.

The objectives will be achieved through improving access to finance, fostering long-term finance and enhancing transparency of the financial sector.

BISP has been provided USD100 million with the objective to strengthen the social safety net systems for the poor and enhance their human capital and access to complementary services.

The fund also allocates USD31.1 million for KP, FATA and Balochistan for various projects to improve livelihoods and promote economic development.

The Rural Livelihood and Community Infrastructure Project (RLCIP), allocated USD8.1 million, aims to improve livelihood and access to basic service infrastructure in select agencies in FATA and to support Temporarily Displaced Persons (TDPs) in the process of rehabilitation as they return back to their homes.

Economic Revitalisation for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA (ERKF) Project, allocated USD19.0 million,  will support the government in the economic recovery and revitalisation of the crisis affected areas of KP and FATA through rehabilitation of SMEs and generating private sector investment.

Southern Areas Development Project for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa aims to reach the underserved communities including women, youth and the poorest in the three Southern districts of KP. It will support them by investing in community development, strengthening local groups and improving access to social and productive infrastructure.