Hafeez Shaikh briefs ADB on funds’ utilisation, structural reforms

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Wednesday shared held a virtual meeting with Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice President Shixin Chen wherein he highlighted the measures taken by the Pakistani government to protect the vulnerable from the pandemic.

Areas of mutual interest like effective resource mobilisation and enhancing domestic productivity were also discussed for future collaboration.

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Division Khusro Bakhtiar, ADB Country Director Xiaohang Yang, and ADB Executive Director Shahid Mahmood were present in the meeting.

The finance advisor appreciated the strong support extended by the ADB for fighting against Covid-19 and acknowledged ADB’s long-standing partnership and firm commitment towards Pakistan to bring about essential reforms in priority areas like energy, transport, water and urban services, and the social sector.

Sharing a brief overview of the current economic situation, Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said that the government had to shift from its pre-Covid fiscal tightening in order to provide relief to the masses and businesses during these testing times, adding that ADB’s support to the Ehsaas Programme was appreciated in this regard.

Shixin Chen commended Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan’s smart lockdown strategy as being ideal in striking a balance between lives and livelihoods.

He also lauded the socioeconomic coverage extended to the marginalised section of society and reiterated ADB’s commitment to continue its support to Pakistan in the future.

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