World Bank urges focus on fiscal, energy reforms

Published October 15, 2022
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar (L) meets World Bank Group President David Malpass on Friday. — Photo via Twitter
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar (L) meets World Bank Group President David Malpass on Friday. — Photo via Twitter
IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva speaks at the IMF-World Bank annual meeting in Washington, DC on Friday.—AFP
IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva speaks at the IMF-World Bank annual meeting in Washington, DC on Friday.—AFP

WASHINGTON: World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged Pakistan to implement fiscal and energy reforms to stabilise the economy and lay the foundation for sustained growth.

Mr Malpass, who met Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Minister for Economic Affairs Ayaz Sadiq in Washington on Thurs­day, encouraged Pakistan to “focus on the implementation” of these reforms, a World Bank statement said.

Regretting the loss of lives and livelihoods due to the devastating floods, Mr Malpass acknowledged that “Pakistan is among the countries most affected by climate change, causing devastating damage to infrastructure and agriculture production.”

Finance Minister Dar thanked the World Bank for its support to rescue and relief operations in the flood-hit areas and in return received an assurance from Mr Malpass that the bank would continue to work with Pakistan in overcoming the socio-economic challenges caused by the floods.

Mr Malpass reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to supporting Pakistan’s urgent needs in health, food, shelter, and cash transfers.

Dar, Sadiq secure bank’s support for flood relief efforts; IMF assures Pakistan of continuous support

He noted the bank’s active engagement in raising assistance from bilateral donors and emphasised the “importance of predictable economic policies to restore macroeconomic stability and market confidence,” said the statement issued by his office.

“During my talks with Minis­ter Muhammad Ishaq Dar, I was happy to reaffirm the World Bank Group’s support for Pakis­tan’s flood recovery efforts,” Mr Malpass said in a tweet.

“Glad for his thoughts on the importance of Pakistan’s fiscal and energy reforms,” he added.

Climate-induced disasters have been the focus of discussions both inside and outside the World Bank headquarters this week where financial leaders from across the globe are meeting to review the world economy.

The finance minister also held separate meetings with IMF Deputy Managing Director Antoinette Sayeh and Islamic Development Bank President Dr Muhammad Sulaiman Al Jasser.

The finance minister apprised Ms Sayeh of the damages caused by the unprecedented floods in Pakistan and shared the government’s vision for stabilising the economy and carrying out sustainable and resilient recovery. The IMF official appreciated the government’s policies and assured of IMF’s continued support to Pakistan, APP reported on Friday.

Protests

Hundreds of protesters burst into a World Bank/IMF meeting, chanting “Cancel all debt! Reparations now!”

They gathered outside the headquarters to remind the participants that global debt repayments were “not compatible with stabilising the climate because high-interest repayments put indebted nations at the mercy of multinational predators.”

Published in Dawn, October 15th, 2022

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