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Canada commits to aiding Pakistan’s socio-economic progress

Canadian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Leslie Scanlon, met with Federal Minister for Finance & Revenue, Senator Muhammad Aurangzeb, at the Finance Division today. During the meeting, the minister updated her on the successful completion of the nine-month Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He also mentioned that the government is currently in discussions with the IMF mission for further collaboration.

The minister outlined the government’s primary reform areas, which include enhancing the tax-to-GDP ratio by bringing untaxed segments into the tax net, advancing digitalization across all sectors, and implementing administrative reforms. He noted that consultants have been engaged to facilitate these initiatives.

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Regarding privatization efforts, the minister reaffirmed the Prime Minister’s commitment to privatizing State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs). He indicated positive responses from both local and foreign investors regarding the privatization of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). Additionally, the minister addressed the complexities within the energy sector, highlighting the reconstitution of DISCO boards with subject matter experts from the private sector to enhance efficiency.

Moreover, the minister emphasized the significance of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) as a practical single-window platform aimed at simplifying investment processes and attracting foreign investments.

High Commissioner Scanlon commended the government’s efforts to bolster the country’s economy. She expressed optimism for economic growth and stability in Pakistan while assuring continued support from the Canadian government towards Pakistan’s socio-economic development.

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