ISLAMABAD: The World Bank on Tuesday signed an agreement to provide 918 million dollars in loan to Pakistan for the execution of three programmes aimed at increasing domestic revenue and development of higher education sector.
The agreement ceremony in Islamabad was witnessed by Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Abdul Hafeez Sheikh.
Of the total amount, $400 million will be used in a programme aimed at increasing the domestic revenue of Pakistan by broadening the tax base and facilitating compliance.
The targets of the revenue program include increasing Pakistan’s tax to GDP ratio to 17 percent, increasing the number of active tax payers to 3.5 million, reduce the compliance burden of paying taxes and improving the efficiency of custom controls.
Another $400 million will be used in higher education development programme. The amount will be spent to support research excellence in strategic sectors of the economy, improve teaching and learning and strengthening governance in the higher education sector.
The remaining $118 million dollars will be used for the revenue mobilisation and resource management programme of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The programme will help the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to mobilise own source revenue to address the constraint of limited fiscal space for investment and public service provision and efficient and strategic use of the province’s financial resources.
Later, World Bank’s Country Director Patchamuthu Illangovan held a meeting with the adviser on finance.
Abdul Hafeez Sheikh thanked the World Bank for extending continuous support to Pakistan in its efforts to achieve the sustainable economic development of the country.
Later talking to the media, he said the World Bank was a reliable partner and it was in partnership with us for the economic development of Pakistan. He was confident that the loan facility extended by the World Bank would help in the socio economic development of the country.
Economic Affairs Division Secretary Noor Ahmed signed the financing agreements on behalf of the government of Pakistan while the representatives of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa signed their respective project agreements. Patchamuthu Illangovan signed the agreements on behalf of the World Bank.