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Pakistanis should pay for Pakistan, says WB President.

NEW YORK; World Bank has stressed on Pakistani people to pay more taxes not only for rehabilitation and reconstruction of flood affectees but also for mobilizing the world to pay for Pakistan., August 20, 2010 (Frontier Star): NEW YORK; World Bank has stressed on Pakistani people to pay more taxes not only for rehabilitation and reconstruction of flood affectees but also for mobilizing the world to pay for Pakistan. Addressing the United Nations High Level Ministerial Meeting on the Flood Emergency in Pakistan WB president Robert B. Zoellick said that he sympathizes with the Pakistani flood affectees He said the first focus has understandably been on the humanitarian calls for help. The World Bank Group pitched in with rescue boats and the $300 million of fast-disbursing funds for critical needs. For the fiscal year, we will devote one billion dollars of concessional finance, our IDA money, for flood recovery and reconstruction. "I expect that IFC, our private sector arm, will commit $400-500 million this year as well for microfinance, and trade finance", the WB President said. He said We've worked with donors to MDTF for border areas to reallocate those contributions, although they are sorely needed in frontier areas too. Many have mentioned partnering with AsDB and One UN on damage and needs assessment as waters recede. There is a team of over 100 people, covering 66 sector specialists. "maybe, just maybe, we can transform tragedy to opportunity. We will only succeed if government truly takes ownership, and is backed seriously by donors", he said. He said First, to make most effective use of help: and even to secure full donor support: the Government needs reconstruction founded on transparency, accountability and flexibility and we need to work through Pakistan institutions. He said the World Bank has practical experience in fiduciary responsibility, finance management, and procurement. We have experience in connecting local voice and community participation. Senior Pakistan officials have told us this is what they want to do. He said that he urges the Government of Pakistan to take concrete steps, backed by law, by October meeting in Brussels, if not before. "The World Bank Group will help: This is an opportunity to build Pakistan ownership, and government capacity", he said. Second, we will be able to get donors to contribute more: and sustain their efforts. If GOP can help by showing it will mobilize all its strength. We've seen fantastic capabilities in Pakistan's rescue efforts. We need to continue and broaden civilian and political segment, the WB president said. "Pakistan's revenue has amounted to about 9% of GDP. This is pretty low by international standards. We need Pakistanis to pay for Pakistan if we are to mobilize the world to pay for Pakistan. Again, we're pleased the Government has stated its commitment, and we would be pleased to assist with follow through working with the IMF. Third, we need to build off the needs assessment and the Government of Pakistan plan: to better integrate work, be more effective, and get the value for each dollar", he said. He stressed on the need to link humanitarian activities: as such shelter: to reconstruction. We can link quick assistance to farmers and basic livelihood support to improved husbandry, better irrigation system and land policy, he said. We need to connect reconstruction to counterpart private sector in Pakistan. The IFC, the World Bank's private sector arm, has about $760 million of investment in Pakistan. We would like to do more with: SME ventures we have used elsewhere; small business facility, microfinance; private equity to help business to lease equipment for rebuilding; and, perhaps private sector assistance to infrastructure, he said. He urged to employ the October meeting in Brussels and November in Pakistan to build mutual commitment and partnership

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Publication:The Frontier Star (Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Sep 20, 2010
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