Economic reforms should be people friendly: Zardari
RAWALPINDI: Mr. Praful C. Patel, Vice President, World Bank called on President Pervez Musharraf today at Presidential Camp Office, Syed Naveed, Qamar, Minister for Finance & Economic Affairs was also present in the meeting. The Vice President of World Bank congratulated the President for the economic progress achieved by Pakistan under his leadership. He applauded the impressive growth of 7.5 % maintained by Pakistan on average during the past 5 years under a difficult international scenario. He appreciated the commitment of the present economic team and was optimistic that economy will once again continue its upward path.
President Pervez Musharraf appreciated the role of World Bank in Pakistan’s socio-economic development and its support to help invest in infrastructure and social sectors, particularly, Health and Education. He lauded the role of Mr. Patel, in particular, during his five year tenure as Vice President for South Asia. The President under-scored the need for hydro-power projects and storage dams and looked forward to support from World Bank to help Pakistan achieve its priorities of overcoming energy, water and food shortages. He also highlighted the need for developing infrastructure links between China, Pakistan and Central Asian Republics.
The President reiterated that one of the major causes for South Asia not being able to exploit the benefits of regional cooperation is the non-resolution of the Kashmir issue. Mr. Patel thanked the President for the continued support and dialogue with the World Bank during his tenure. He expressed his confidence in the economic fundamentals of Pakistan whereby the current dip could be followed by the required growth after taking corrective measures towards the macro economic condition.
Mr. Patel affirmed that the World Bank would continue to be a partner in the development of Pakistan and would provide necessary assistance in the key areas like water and power, infrastructure, education and other social sectors and poverty alleviation. He also met with Mr. Yousaf Raza Gillani.
Pakistan Peoples Party Co-Chairman Senator Asif Ali Zardari has said that PPP will continue to work with multilateral institutions to introduce economic reforms in the country but all such steps have to be people friendly. He was talking to a delegation of World Bank that called on him here on Wednesday. The delegation was led by the Bank’s Vice President Praful C. Patel, Mr. Yusuopha Crookes, Country Director Pakistan Mr. Said Habsy Operation Advisor for Pakistan and Mr. Robert Floyd, Country Coordinator for Pakistan. Senator Zardari urged the World Bank officials to consider increased funding for Pakistan for investment into projects like canal lining that can be helpful for water conservation and small dams so that irrigation can be introduced for larger areas of the country. He stressed that the benefits of such projects should reach wider rural segments.-SANA