Pakistan seeks $42 billion for improving infrastructure

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan has requested its bilateral and multilateral lenders to make roughly $42 billion investment for urgently improving its infrastructure and capacity building.

By From A Correspondent

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Published: Thu 28 Apr 2005, 10:12 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 4:10 PM

On the concluding day of the Pakistan Development Forum (PDF) 2005, the highest demand of $33 billion was made by Pakistan government for water sector requirement till 2025.

Secretary Water and Power Ashfaq Mehmood told the gathering of about 200 diplomats and representatives of multilateral lenders that Pakistan required at least $12 billion (Rs709 billion) initially for the next five years.

He said Pakistan would be soon starting two large reservoirs that would require Rs378 billion in the next five years. Another Rs278 billion would be required for irrigation improvement followed by Rs47 billion for drainage and reclamation and Rs6 billion for floods.

He said the government has finalised a National Water Policy that would put in place a high power National Water council. The council would take decisions relating to integrated water sector planning, surface and ground water irrigation, barani irrigation, drainage and reclamation, flood and drought management, water for drinking, sanitation, for industry, environment and water quality.

He listed a host of infrastructure issues in the water sector. These included inadequate storages, inefficient and deteriorated water conveyance infrastructure, lack of drainage effluent and land reclamation, flood control, inequity in water management, institutional incapability, and inadequate investment in development and maintenance of water sector.

He said the funds were required for at least two additional dams, augmentation of existing storages and development of small and medium dams, modernisation and repair of barrages, system improvement through remodelling, rehabilitation and lining of canals and water courses.

Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Salman Shah said the federal government is required to allocate at least one per cent or about $1 billion in the coming federal budget under the Khushal Pakistan Programme that would broadly finance farm to market roads and public-private partnership in the infrastructure development.

The Sindh government sought about Rs340 billion ($6 billion) funding for its infrastructure development, primarily in housing, water and sanitation and roads network.

The Higher Education Commission sought $1 billion (Rs60 billion) to improve higher education in the country through different schemes throughout the country. The chairman of National Reconstruction Bureau Danyal Aziz suggested about $500 million for improvement of local government capacities and completion of the devolution plan.

He said there were a lot of shortcomings in the devolution plan but this did not mean the programme should be abandoned and hence some funding was required to take over devolved responsibilities at the provincial and district level.

Similarly, the Balochistan government demanded about $1 billion (Rs60 billion) for improvement of its ground and surface water facilities.

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