WB Approves $350m for RISE-II Operations in Pakistan

Wed Dec 20 2023
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WASHINGTON: The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has given the green light to a $350 million financing package for the Second Resilient Institutions for Sustainable Economy (RISE-II) Operations, with the goal of fortifying fiscal management and fostering competitiveness for sustained and inclusive economic growth.

Najy Benhassine, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan, emphasized the urgency of fiscal and structural reforms in Pakistan to restore macroeconomic balance and establish the groundwork for sustainable growth. The RISE-II initiative builds upon initial efforts focused on tax, energy, and business climate reforms, geared towards generating additional revenues, refining expenditure targeting, and stimulating competition and investment.

WB

The operation addresses the imperative of enhanced fiscal management through measures such as refining fiscal policy coordination, bolstering debt transparency and management, improving property taxation, and enhancing the financial viability of the power sector. Additionally, it seeks to nurture growth and competitiveness by reducing the cost of tax compliance, enhancing financial sector transparency, promoting digital payments, and facilitating exports through lower import tariffs.

Derek H. C. Chen, Task Team Leader of the operation, underscores the critical juncture Pakistan faces after the upcoming general elections, asserting that leveraging the foundations laid by RISE II, alongside support from other international financial institutions, presents an opportunity to address long-standing structural distortions. Failure to seize this moment, he warns, could plunge the country back into a cycle of economic uncertainty and volatility.

 

 

 

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