While Prime Minister Imran Khan envisions Pakistan to be a hub of global tourism, a study released by the World Bank has warned that tourism in the country is placing increasing stress on the local environment. The study suggests that tourism in the mountainous regions is leading to increased pollution, natural habitat loss and pressure on endangered species.
Pakistan and the World Bank have signed five loan agreements of $787 million for development projects, majorly directed to uplifting Karachi. The World Bank will provide $652m for three development projects in Karachi to support urban mobility, urban management and service delivery, improve water and sewerage services, tourism and power sectors. Highest amount of $382m was inked for Karachi Mobility (Yellow Line) Project.
In a recent report, the World Bank has ranked Pakistan at number six amongst the top 20 global reformers. The World Bank also acknowledged Pakistan amongst top 10 economies that improve the most on the ease of doing business after implementing regulatory reform. As per the report, for the first time Pakistan has improved 28 ranks, from 136 to 108, in one year.
Pakistan has been listed among the ‘Top-20 improvers in Doing Business for the year 2020’ by World Bank. A statement by the World Bank said, “Pakistan improved in six areas measured by Doing Business—starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, paying taxes and trading across borders—reflecting the country’s development of an ambitious reform strategy.”
Minister of State for Revenue, Hammad Azhar, revealed in National Assembly on Friday that Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) has set a new precedent by retiring $9.5 billion foreign loans in first year of power. He also added that Pakistan’s foreign loans rose by $2.7bn as compared to last year of PML-N government when foreign debts increased by over $7bn.
The United Kingdom (UK) has decided to increase its funding from 400 million pounds to one billion pounds, in order to finance projects and encourage British firms to set up in Pakistan. As Pakistan’s rating improves on the World Bank’s ease of doing business index, UK will provide direct lending into projects like infrastructure, roads, hospitals, and schools.