Islamabad – Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Sunday sought four months time from Islamabad for financing Pakistan’s Diamir Bhasha dam project, sources said.
According to sources this request was made by Country Director ADB Werner Liepach during meeting with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in Islamabad today.
The Manila headquartered bank has been examining Pakistan’s request for financial support of the project as part of long term effort to overcome power shortages in the country.
The government of ruling PML-N stepped up efforts ever since it came into power and planned to build Diamir Bhasha dam as main project to tackle the pressing energy crisis it inherited.
Meanwhile a press statement issued about the meeting said that ADB has agreed to invest in Pakistan’s energy, communication and infrastructure projects.
The understanding came at a meeting between Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Country Director ADB Werner Liepach in Islamabad on Sunday.
Leipach informed the Minister that as compared to the past years, the co-operation between Asian Development Bank and Pakistan had been much more extensive with the present Government which is keen to start work on key development projects.
The year 2014 saw the record disbursement of $900 million for different development projects including budgetary support whereas it was around $300 million in the past years.
The Minister while appreciating the ADB’s contribution, impressed upon Werner to enhance the budgetary support.
ADB country director also discussed the strategy of ADB for Pakistan in the next year which will be approved in the annual meeting to be held in May in Baku.
Leipach said that as per our commitment for facilitating infrastructure development and energy related projects we shall be supporting projects like M4, E35 and regional development projects like CAREC and TAPI.
Our endeavour shall be to leverage more finances from DFID in the form of grants so that the loans extended for these projects should be replaced and recycled for other projects.
The Finance Minister told Leipach that for the purpose of arranging finances for infrastructure development projects we have already created an SPV. IPDF shall soon actively start its work.
The Minister further said with 15pc growth in the workers’ remittances we shall be better able to manage our balance of payment and divert more finances to development of the country.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar Sunday stressed the need for further strengthening the capacity of Implementation and Economic Reforms Unit (IERU) of the Finance Division to contribute towards implementation of economic reforms.
The minister held a meeting with IERU here, which among others was attended by Finance Secretary, senior officers of Finance Division, Director General IERU and IERU officers. He emphasized that IERU was playing a pivotal role in implementation of economic reform agenda of the government to help improve economic conditions.
Finance Minister appreciated the performance of IERU and desired regular briefings to review progress of key reforms and implementation of economic decisions. He admired the establishment of One Stop Shop for business registration, development of investment climate improvement plan, facilitation for energy sector reforms and research on regulatory governance issues.
Finance Minister appreciated the strength of IERU team and their support to strengthen the structural reform agenda locally as well as with international partners. On the occasion, Dr Khaqan Hassan Najeeb, DG (IERU) apprised the Finance Minister about the current work being done at IERU. He informed the minister that IERU has been facilitating economic reforms in the areas of Investment Climate Improvement, Energy Sector, Public Sector Enterprises and Regulatory Reforms along with providing overall policy support to Finance Minister office, Finance Division and other Ministries/Divisions.