ISLAMABAD: Prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday said that Pakistan sought good ties with Afghanistan and India, regardless of who came to power with elections scheduled for April in the eastern and western neighbours of Pakistan.
During a meeting with the Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of World Bank sri Mulyani Indrawati in Islamabad on Saturday, Nawaz said that Pakistan believes in good relations with Afghanistan and India.
“I believed in this policy in past and I am pursuing it in my present government,” he said.
World Bank support appreciated
Pointing out that World Bank can play a major role in supporting the efforts of the government to address the energy crisis, Nawaz highlighted on going projects and policies.
Highlighting the energy initiatives of the government, the premier said that the Pakistan Energy Park in Gadani includes ten 660 mega watt (MW) coal based power generation plants which aim to add 6,600 MW to the energy grid. Development of Thar coal and its utilisation for power generation is also a priority area.
On measures to stabilise the economy of Pakistan, the premier highlighted that they expect the foreign exchange reserves of Pakistan to swell to $16 billion by end of 2014.
Country Director World Bank Rachid Benmessaoud, Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar and Nasir Mahmood Khosa attended the meeting.
Meeting with Finance Minister
Later, Indrawati met with the Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, at the Finance Ministry.
Dar thanked the Managing Director for her personal interest in Pakistan related programmes especially the CASA-1000 and Dasu Hydropower Projects which are in the process of approval by the board and clearance of 2 DPCs on March 19 by the Operations Committee which Indrawati had chaired herself.
Dar further briefed the World Bank official on the macro-economic situation in Pakistan and policies of the government.
The finance minister underlined that changes are being contemplated in relevant tax laws for permanently eliminating the discretion of FBR to issue special tax exemptions. He underscored that the government’s privatisation strategy which aims to provide a holistic framework for disinvesting public sector assets.
Dar emphasised that international assistance will help the government in addressing poverty and socio economic uplift of the people.
Indrawati, while appreciating the economic policies, said that World Bank will help Pakistan in poverty alleviation and promoting shared prosperity for the people of Pakistan.
She said that Pakistan has strong support of the World Bank for its economic revival under its leadership, adding that the World Bank would expect progress on energy projects would be made on fast track.
On World Bank’s partnership with Pakistan, she said that the focus will remain on tackling the energy crisis, increasing economic opportunity for women and youth and improving service delivery.
She also informed the Finance Minister that the World Bank will consider a Country Partnership Strategy for Pakistan in May this year.
Indrawati hoped success for Pakistan in launching of Eurobonds in the international market and auction of spectrum licenses.