Islamabad (September 13, 2017): The Asian Development Bank on Tuesday approved loans of USD 435 million for Pakistan to build modern transport infrastructure.
Islamabad and the ADB have signed two loan agreements aimed at supporting the country’s efforts to build modern transport infrastructure and create an environment for participation of the private sector in infrastructure schemes, The Express Tribune reported.
The ADB has approved USD 335 million to help develop the rapid transit system in Peshawar. On the other hand, USD 100 million will be given as a loan to improve infrastructure in the province of Sindh.
ADB’s Country Director for Pakistan Xiaohong Yang and Economic Affairs Division (EAD) secretary Shahid Mahmood signed both the loan agreements in Islamabad.
“Peshawar’s booming population has been causing tremendous traffic congestion and pressure on its public transport infrastructure and basic urban services, negatively impacting its economic growth,” Yang said, after the signing ceremony.
Earlier, ADB Vice President Wencai Zhang had hinted that Islamabad could receive approximately USD 6 billion in new loans over the next three years, but added that this funding would be cleared only on the basis of project readiness.
Pakistan had made a demand for USD 2.5 billion per annum lending by the ADB, but all would depend upon the project’s readiness.
Wencai said that cost overruns and delays in projects processing and executions were somehow affecting final disbursements to Pakistan from the ADB.
In fiscal 2016-17, the ADB handed over USD 1.8 billion for two projects to Pakistan which could not be processed.
He said Pakistan’s short-term economic vulnerabilities have reduced and the country’s economic outlook was positive, but maintained that it needs to build on gains by ensuring implementation of deep-rooted structural reforms.