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Pakistan seeks more than double financing for infrastructure projects


Dar meets ADB president

YOKOHAMA: Pakistan is seeking to more than double the funding support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the ongoing infrastructure projects to achieve a growth target of seven percent by 2019, finance minister said on Thursday.
“Today we met the president (of ADB) and briefed him on the ongoing infrastructure projects in Pakistan and also briefed him on the additional funding needs to support development works,” finance minister Ishaq Dar told reporters on the sidelines of the ADB's annual meeting.
"We requested the ADB to consider $2.5 billion annual allocation for Pakistan as infrastructural financing." Dar said the meeting with the ADB president Takehiko Nakao, held on the sidelines of the ADB board's 50th annual meeting, was “very productive and useful”.
"In fact, in our last meeting held in Frankfurt, we requested to enhance Pakistan's annual allocation to $2 billion and they already (had) agreed, in principle," the minister said. Dar said that the government is looking for a higher growth of seven percent in the fiscal year 2019 because of massive spending on the infrastructure projects.
"We asked the ADB to reconsider Pakistan's annual allocation, and allocate separate infrastructure financing for the country," he said. The minister said the Asian Development Bank and Pakistan enjoyed strong partnership.
The Manila-based bank has extended substantial cooperation as a part of its lending policy in the energy sector and state-owned enterprises reforms. "The bank extended financial support valuing $1.2 billion for infrastructure projects last year," the minister said.
"Besides the bank had made commitments of $1.2 billion for the National Disaster Risk Management Fund, of which $200 million had already been released." A government statement said the finance minister had told the ADB president on the newly setup Pakistan Development Fund for the development of critical infrastructure and expressed the hope that the ADB would strengthen its support for such an important initiative.
“President of the ADB lauded Pakistan's efforts and said that there was a widespread recognition of the government's success in turning the economy around," the statement said. "Improvement in the economic fundamentals greatly assures the international investors and donors alike and it is expected that now more foreign direct investment will flow towards Pakistan."
Dar also met with the president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The AIIB president said that Pakistan's economic growth rate is appreciable and its positive impact is well spread among all segments of the society.
During the interaction, the minister thanked the president for the grant of first two projects of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to Pakistan and briefed him that the government has substantially strengthened the social security net in the last three years from Rs43 billion to Rs117 billion. The minister also informed that Pakistan Investment Bank is being created with IFC in the lead to cater to the needs of the private sector infrastructure projects.
Source: The News