Lack of progress: WB postpones two budgetary support loans for Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: In a major blow to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s efforts to secure budgetary support loans, the World Bank has reportedly delayed the approval of two budgetary support loans worth $750 million for two months, thanks to negligence of the authorities concerned who could not make progress on some of the agreed prior conditions.

According to a local daily newspaper, the government could not achieve progress on some pre-conditions of the World Bank like developing consensus among provinces for harmonisation of the general sales tax (GST) on services.

The World Bank suspended budgetary support for Pakistan four years ago due to the deterioration of macroeconomic indicators and the current development would hurt the government’s efforts which is already in talks with the International Monetary Fund(IMF) for securing $452 million third tranche.

The World Bank board is scheduled to hold a meeting on March 19 to approve a $500-million development policy credit which is called the Resilient Institutions for Sustainable Economy (RISE) programme. In the same way, another policy credit of $250 million for the Securing Human Investments to Foster Transformation (SHIFT) programme has also been postponed. 

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