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ADB chief advises Pakistan to fight corruption, tax theft

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ISLAMABAD: Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao has said that it was very important for Pakistan to continue fighting against corruption, tax theft and money laundering.

He was addressing a joint press conference with Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on the conclusion of the 15th ministerial meeting of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) programme.

Mr Nakao said that the government should make efforts to minimise these menaces. He said the signing of a tax avoidance treaty with the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Develop­ment (OECD) would greatly help in this regard.

After the International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde, the ADB President has been another top monetary czar who has urged the government of Pakistan for hard steps to end corruption and tax evasion in the country.

He said Pakistan’s successful completion of a multi-year IMF programme was encouraging, but added that the country still faces several challenges in maintaining its hard-earned gains.

He advised for deeper structural reforms in the energy sector where smart metering was possible and public sector enterprises should be made more efficient so that private investors could be encouraged to come forward and contribute.

He also asked Pakistan to wisely implement projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and utilise their funds well so as to avoid debt or repayment problems.

The ADB chief declined to make any commitment for the $14 billion Diamer-Bhasha dam project. He said it was a very important project for Pakistan’s energy and irrigation requirements but called for the formation of more partnerships that could provide funding for the big project.

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