The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved $304 million in financing for Punjab Resource Improvement and Digital Effectiveness Program (PRIDE), Business Recorder reported on Friday.
The program is aimed at improving efficiencies in public resource management, which help in generating savings and creating fiscal space for growth-generating investments in the province. It also focuses on introducing technology-based solutions and improving access to online services for businesses and individuals.
“The PRIDE program is integral to the World Bank’s whole-of-country approach in helping Pakistan strengthen public financial management systems at the federal and provincial levels,” said Najy Benhassine, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan.
The PRIDE Program will support the government of Punjab in strengthening fiscal risk management and budget formulation to ensure reliable resource allocation for public services. The program will improve revenue collection by increasing registration of businesses and real estate, and simplifying tax administration processes such as registration, filing, payment, refunds and appeals.
“With prolonged restrictions on face-to-face services due to COVID-19, the PRIDE program will help the provincial government expand its existing citizen feedback model and accelerate the use of technology for revenue mobilization and public procurement,” said Akmal Minallah, Task Team Leader for the program, adding that, “The program also puts in place monitoring and transparency mechanisms at the provincial and local levels that increase government accountability.”