Donors at PDF’s meeting on 12th to support govt’s reform agenda
By Zamir Haider
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s economic managers will present the overall economic policy and initiate a dialogue with the donors on government’s economic and development policies, and the devolution plan with participants of the Pakistan Development Forum (PDF) scheduled for May 12-14.
“The three-day session of the PDF in Islamabad will be of special significance because the government will share with its development partners its’ poverty reduction strategy, education and health strategies/policies and the reform agenda,” an official told Daily Times here on Sunday.
The official said different sessions of the PDF meeting would include brief presentations by ministers and senior officials followed by informal discussions and exchange of views.
The official said like last year, Pakistan would like to see some pledges by donors for further conversion of the debt into swap funds for social sectors. “It is expected that donors, like at last year’s PDF meeting, will support the government’s reform agenda this time too and will provide all possible assistance to Pakistan including the conversion of debt into swap funds for social sectors, especially at times when Pakistan puts more emphasis on education, health, women’s development etc,” the official said.
Meanwhile, Dr Waqar Masood, secretary Economic Affairs Division (EAD), talking to Daily Times said the government would make presentations on achievements on the economic front and future outlook of the country’s economy.
He said the PDF, which is largely attended by the representatives from the donors, would also be having a formal interaction with the government. “The donors will be briefed about the intentions of the government and the direction of future economic policies,” Dr Waqar said. The PDF, which was initially known as Aid to Pakistan Consortium, used to be a pledging session of the donors for various projects, but its’ entire spectra was changed during the Nawaz government, when the then Finance Minister Ishaq Dar changed it to PDF and made it an opportunities and evaluation session.
The PDF meeting is likely to be addressed by ministers that include commerce, industries, investment, information technology, and finance besides senior officials of the Planning Division as well as the EAD.
The official said Vice President, South Asian Region, of the World Bank Meiko Nishimizu was also likely to participate in the PDF and chair a session as well.