Donors prefer silence

Published March 22, 2015

FIRST, the bottom line. The two main development partners of Pakistan – the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank – declined to comment on the failure of the economic successes to trickle down to the masses.

The two international lending institutions are due to release their reports on the South Asian region, and the country chapters on Pakistan, they said, would particularly focus on the gains the country’s economy has made.

The ADB is set to release the ‘Asian Development Outlook’ next week, while the World Bank, according to its spokesperson, will release its “in the coming months”.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was not much different, but did refer to the statement made by its Director of Middle East and Central Asia, Masood Ahmed, who recently made an official visit to Pakistan.

According to Dr Masood, “Pakistan’s economy is improving, helped by prudent monetary and fiscal policies, strong capital inflows, robust remittances, and lower international oil prices. The authorities have made progress with consolidating macroeconomic stability, strengthening public finances, and re-building foreign exchange buffers. As a result, immediate crisis risks have greatly receded, economic growth is gaining strength, inflation is declining, and macroeconomic vulnerabilities are gradually addressed.

“The current improved economic and financial situation presents a unique opportunity for Pakistan to reinforce and build on recent stability gains to work towards achieving higher, sustainable and inclusive economic growth,” the statement said.

An ADB official, on condition of anonymity, said prices had started to recede, but the government needed to take some more measures so that people could have some benefits.

Though poverty has declined, the data is not reliable.

The official said that the informal sector had remained unaccounted for despite being a big contributor to the national economy.

Published in Dawn March 22nd , 2015


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