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World Bank lends $100 million for more and better jobs in Pakistan

Staff writer ▼ | April 2, 2016
The World Bank approved a loan of $100 million to improve the investment climate in Punjab and create more and better jobs, thus contributing to reducing unemployment and poverty in Pakistan.
Pakistan workers
Asia   The Punjab Jobs and Competitiveness Program
This will be the first IBRD loan after Pakistan became eligible again.

The Punjab government’s Jobs and Competitiveness Program will undertake reforms to reduce the cost and risks of doing business, improve laws affecting labor, in particular to encourage women’s employment.

Women’s labor force participation will be increased by reforming discriminatory policies, for example the Factory Act, which restricts women’s employment in manufacturing.

Additional support services in industrial estates, such as daycare and transport facilities for working women, are also planned.

The program will promote private sector-led development by making it easier to register a new business, getting construction permits, property registration and contract enforcement.

The program aims to build the capacity and systems for supporting infrastructure such as industrial estates and central effluent treatment plants through public-private partnerships. It will also support industrial clusters with high growth potential.

One measure for gauging the program’s effectiveness will be the increase in foreign investments that Punjab Board of Investment will attract.

This loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) is a variable spread loan with a maturity of 18.5 years, including a grace period of 4.5 years.