KARACHI: Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah along with his team held a meeting with a high-power World Bank delegation led by its Country Chief Mr Patchamuthu Illangovan and discussed the matters pertaining to human capital, public and private investment, structural transformation, trade and sustainability.
The meeting discussed lowering fertility to improve development outcomes. It was agreed that the coverage of contraceptive services would be improved. A target was set to utilize the national poverty database for better targets programmes and increase coverage amongst poorest household of the province.
The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Chairman P&D Mohammad Waseem, Chairman SRB Khalid Mahmood, Principal Secretary to CM Sajid Jamal ABro, provincial secretaries of finance, industries, education, local government, population and women development. The World Bank delegates include Ms Melinda Good, Mr Lixin Gu, Mohammad Waheed, Amjad bashir and Rahat Ali.
Chief Minister Sindh directed chief secretary to improve coordination between different programmes related to family planning, integrate family planning services with broader Mother Neonatal Child Health (MNCH) services.
The meeting also discussed and agreed to further investment in people to support growth and development. The world Bank Country chief said that health outcomes relating to nutrition, infant and maternal mortality for Sindh have seen considerable progress over the past few years. The decisions were taken to give leverage to private sector in service delivery; regulatory framework for private providers would be strengthened and quality control standards would be implemented in true letter and spirit.
Syed Murad Ali Shah said that the provincial government was focusing on increasing its own revenue resources to close infrastructure and service delivery gaps.
He added that the provincial government was planning to reduce exemptions in the urban immovable property tax. The World Bank suggested him to tap user charges to increase available resources.
The Chief Minister told the visiting delegation that the business regulation in Sindh involved several regulatory layers for entry and operation therefore One-window services for investors were being developed. “We have created new department for Investment. The World Bank suggested introduction of E-governance system.
He disclosed that he was working on creating cities which drive economic transformation. “Steps are being taken to improve governance and planning,” he said and added that the framework was being created for private investment in cities infrastructure and services through PPP mode.
The meeting also discussed sustainability of growth through responsible natural resources management under which reforms would be introduced in areas of air and water pollution, land and waste use and resilience to natural disasters. The world bank suggested water measurement and accounting; improvement in institutional capacity to map water use and enforce pricing reforms and also suggested encouraging water saving through improved abiana rates and recovery of operation & maintenance cost.