ISLAMABAD: Asian Development Bank (ADB) remained one of the Pakistan’s largest development partners and had provided more than US $27 billion in loans and over US $ 531 million in grants since 1966.
According to ADB’s annual report 2015, since becoming a founding member of the ADB in 1966, the Government of Pakistan had worked with the bank to strengthen the country’s key infrastructure, boost social and development safeguard and promote information sharing with other countries.
The report further said that in 2015, ADB approved the country’s partnership strategy (CPS) 2015-19 for Pakistan, with a provisional assistance package of US $ 3.65 billion for sovereign operations in 2016-16.
“The new CPS continues a focus on infrastructure development and institutional reforms .Its outlines financial assistance in six key sectors of energy, transport, agriculture, natural resources and rural development b, water and other urban infrastructure and services, public sector management and finance”, the ADB report said.
The report further said that the cumulative disbursements to Pakistan for lending and grants financed by ordinary capital resources, the Asian Development Fund, and other special funds amounting to US $ 19.59 billion.
The ADB report further said that the bank’s projects in energy sector comprise over half the ADB portfolio for Pakistan.
“In 2015 ,ADB approved a combined loan assistance of nearly US $ 1.4 billion for two energy sector programmes”, the report said.
It further said that a multitranche financing facility (MFF) of US $ 990 million would help introduce an advanced electricity metering system for power distribution companies, reducing losses and boosting revenues collection.
The ADB report said that assistance of US $ 400 million was also approved to reform policy and build an affordable and secured energy sector.
It added that the ongoing ADB investment in the energy sector included a loan for the Jamshoro power generation project and five MFFs for other projects.
ADB, the report said also provided support for energy planning , capacity development and promotion of regional trading initiatives for power and gas,
The ADB was helping to decongest Pakistan’s overburdened transport system, upgrading highways and provisional roads to position the country as a future regional trading hub.
In 2015, ADB and department for international development (DFID) of the United kingdom (UK) combined to assist Pakistan in improving the country’s vital north-south road network.
The ADB’s annual report 2015 said that this project aimed to promote economic growth, create jobs and enhance regional connectivity.
The report further said that ADB was also assisting Pakistan government to rehabilitate the Indus Basin irrigation system.
Under the MFF, work was being carried out to refurbish and upgrade key barrages and canals in the Punjab province, which would improve farm incomes through increased productivity.
The ADB’s 2015 report said that Pakistan was highly vulnerable to natural hazards including droughts, earthquakes, floods and cyclones.
In 2015, ADB ap[proved US $ 220 million to rebuild infrastructure damaged by the devastating floods of September 2014.
ADB and government of Pakistan also signed a memorandum of understanding to establish the Pakistan National Disaster Management Fund to strengthen the country’s disaster resilience , emergency response and reconstruction capacity.
ADB continued to assist Benazir Income Support Programme in reaching out to women beneficiaries.
The cash transfer programme of US $ 430 million was helping Pakistan extend income support to poor families and the country’s most vulnerable groups.
Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2016
Courtesy : BRecorder