Panama Papers issue created some policy uncertainty: World Bank

Islamabad [Pakistan]: The World Bank has warned that the Panama Papers issue “enhanced political risks” and created “some policy uncertainty” in Pakistan.

In its report titled ‘Pakistan Development Update’, the bank warned that Pakistan was “exposed to natural disasters, political events and terrorism” on the domestic front, while the upcoming national elections might affect the “reform momentum and macroeconomic policy orientation.”

According to the World Bank statement, the report sets out “recent developments across the economy and identifies risks and opportunities in the near-term future before focussing on a handful of key development challenges.”

International Monetary Fund president Christine Lagarde last year noted that the perception of corruption in Pakistan would hurt private investment and could hold back efforts to promote sustainable growth.

Christine also advised that increasing transparency, making people accountable and removing red tape could help deal with the issue of perception of corruption.

A former Economic Advisor to the Ministry of Finance explained that the Panama issue had raised political risks, since investors had already gone into ‘wait-and-see’ mode.

Since the apex court’s decision to form a joint investigation team to probe the assets of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family, the experts are divided over whether this would yield concrete results or whether it was a mere “eyewash”. (ANI)