PR No.203 Mr. Shahid Javed Burki calls on Finance Minister Islamabad

Mr. Shahid Javed Burki, former Caretaker Finance Minister of Pakistan and former Vice-President of the World Bank, called on  Federal Minister for Finance, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar here Saturday.

Mr. Burki, who is currently based in Washington D.C., USA, discussed various matters related to Pakistan’s economy with the Finance Minister. He stated that Pakistan’s economy was performing well and there were visible improvements in the country compared to the past. He said that as a frequent traveller to the region, he could see that Pakistan was doing much better than many other regional economies. He said that the general perceptions however were different and it was important to narrate the true and factual story of Pakistan to international audiences.  He said that the perception of the country could improve tremendously if the visible improvements in Pakistan are understood and acknowledged properly.

Finance Minister stated that the during the past three and a half years the government had focused on economic reforms and the dividends of the same were now visible. He said that it was heartening that many credible international institutions were now openly acknowledging the achievements of Pakistan’s which would help correct the misperceptions.

Mr. Burki appreciated the fact that the government was undertaking the national Census. He stated that correct and reliable data was extremely important for policy planning and the upcoming exercise will be helpful in this regard. He said that there was a need to upgrade the data collection methods so as to get a clearer picture of various sectors of economy.

The Finance Minister said that Pakistan has recently adopted the Cost of Basic Needs (CBN) method for calculation of poverty levels instead of the outdated Food Energy Intake (FEI) method, and that under the CBN method, poverty levels have reduced in Pakistan to 29.5% in FY 2014 from 64.3% in FY 2002. He said that the government believes in transparency and openness and would welcome any suggestions on improvement and reform of the data gathering methodologies.

The meeting was also attended by senior officials of the Ministry of Finance.