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World Bank announces $350 million for Pakistan to Support Fiscal and Competitiveness Reforms

ISLAMABAD: The Board of Executive Directors at the World Bank sanctioned $350 million in funding today for the Second Resilient Institutions for Sustainable Economy (RISE-II) Operation.

This initiative targets reinforcing fiscal management and fostering competitiveness to drive continual and inclusive economic advancement.

Najy Benhassine, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan, underscores Pakistan’s critical need for immediate fiscal and structural reforms to rebalance the macroeconomy and establish a groundwork for sustainable growth.

RISE-II builds upon earlier reforms in taxation, energy, and business climate, with a focus on elevating revenue streams, refining expenditure targeting, and catalyzing competition and investments.

This operation contributes significantly to enhancing fiscal management by streamlining fiscal policy coordination, bolstering debt transparency and management, fortifying property taxation, and enhancing the financial stability of the power sector.

Additionally, it aims to spur growth and competitiveness by slashing the costs associated with tax compliance, enhancing transparency in the financial sector, advocating for digital payment utilization, and boosting exports through reduced import tariffs.

Derek H. C. Chen, the Task Team Leader of this operation, emphasizes that leveraging the groundwork laid by RISE II, alongside concurrent support from other International Financial Institutions (IFIs), presents Pakistan with an opportune moment to address longstanding structural imbalances in its economy post the upcoming general elections.

Neglecting this opportunity could risk subjecting the country to erratic economic cycles.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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