Islamabad Pakistan and the World Bank on Tuesday signed three loan agreements worth $918 million to help support revenue mobilisation and higher education development in the country.
The agreements were signed by Secretary of Economic Affairs Division Noor Ahmed on behalf of the federal government and World Bank Country Director Patchamuthu Illangovan while the representatives of Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa signed their respective project agreements, reports Geo News.
The World Bank will provide $400 million for the ‘Pakistan Raises Revenue Programme’ which is aimed at contributing to a sustainable increase in domestic revenue by broadening the tax base and facilitating compliance.
The programme’s targeted results include; increasing Pakistan’s tax to GDP ratio to 17 per cent; increasing the number of active taxpayers to 3.5 million; reducing the compliance burden of paying taxes; and improving the efficiency of customs controls.
The Higher Education Development in Pakistan worth $400 million would support research excellence in strategic sectors of the economy, improve teaching and learning and strengthening governance in the higher education sector.
The project would finance for nurturing academic excellence in strategic sectors; supporting decentralized higher education institutes for improved teaching and learning; equipping students and higher education institutions with modern technology; higher education management information system and data drive services; and capacity building, project management and monitoring and evaluation.
The third agreement related to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Revenue Mobilisation and Resource Management Programme worth $118 million would increase the collection of the province’s own-source revenues and improve the management of public resources, Geo News reported.
Later, the World Bank Country Director also held a meeting with the finance adviser where Shaikh thanked the former for extending continuous support to Pakistan in its efforts to achieve the sustainable economic development.