ADB to enhance assistance to Pakistan

ISLAMABAD — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to increase its financial assistance to Pakistan aimed at adequately funding the country's five major dams, national highways and growing energy needs.

By From A Correspondent

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Published: Tue 22 Aug 2006, 9:01 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 2:19 PM

According to informed sources, the ADB has assured its full support in the implementation of plans for the economic development of the country and social welfare of the people.

Pakistan has given a detailed briefing recently to the ADB officials particularly about communications, water and power which will cost $60 billion over the next five years.

"Both sides discussed the scope of financial requirements and the assistance being provided by ADB for the various ongoing projects as well as the projects to be implemented in future," said an official.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, he said, asked the ADB to contribute in the construction of hydel projects, North-South Corridor and the energy, trade and transportation corridors between various Asian regions.

The prime minister also asked the bank to participate in urban planning, mass transit projects as well as social sector uplift projects.

The ADB believed that because of its strategic location, Pakistan could play a very crucial role in promoting regional trade by acting as a bridge between Central Asia, South Asia and West Asia.

The official said ADB was keen to provide technical and financial assistance to Pakistan to build the corridors being planned by it as these will bring progress and prosperity to the region.

Pakistan was keenly interested in the development of water and energy sectors, communication networks and oil and gas pipelines.

The ADB officials, he said, have recently been given a presentation on the energy requirements of the country and the strategic programmes chalked out to exploit the indigenous energy resources including coal, wind, hydel, nuclear and oil .

The official said Pakistan needed ADB help in the execution of prospective water projects . He also underscored the role and assistance of ADB in providing new technologies in flood control projects.

ADB has stressed the need for preparing a master plan identifying the strategic areas as well as the measures to be adopted for flood control and the financial requirements to be allocated by ADB for implementation of those programmes.

The ADB officials were also given a presentation focusing on the requirements for the expansion of communication networks including Trans Indus connectivity, National Trade Corridor, Asian Highway Routes, North-South corridor connecting Central Asian States, dualisation of Torkham-Jalalabad road, rehabilitation of Karakoram Highway, extension of Gwadar linkages and expansion of the existing network.

He said the construction of communication networks was being done to international standards and arrangements were under way for uninterrupted flow of traffic for trade and logistics. He asked for ADB's assistance in the construction of roads and for the rehabilitation of the existing network.

It was agreed that a mechanism should be evolved for careful evaluation and formulation of projects and after their approval, the criteria fixed for their implementation should be strictly followed.

The official said President Gen Pervez Musharraf has called for completing of five mega water dam projects in ten years, which required a robust infrastructure for their execution.

The ADB, he said, believed that Pakistan was confronted with major issues including infrastructure and energy and asked authorities to formulate a comprehensive and viable infrastructure development plan to meet the energy requirements of the country.

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