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ADB approved $480 Million loans to Improve Various Economic Sectors
12-20-2017, 05:17 PM
Post: #1
ADB approved $480 Million loans to Improve Various Economic Sectors
KARACHI: Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Monday approved $480 million in three loans to improve various economic sectors of the country’s biggest province Punjab.

The Manila-based lender and the government signed two loans totaling $380 million for projects to help improve the country’s urban and transport sectors.

Xiaohong Yang, ADB’s country director for Pakistan, and Arif Ahmed Khan, secretary of the Economic Affairs Division signed the loan agreements.

The ADB’s Punjab Intermediate Cities Project will provide $200 million to help enhance the quality of life of residents of Sahiwal and Sialkot cities in Punjab through various urban planning reforms.

The Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Corridor (CAREC) Development Investment Program – Project 1 will provide $180 million to improve road traffic efficiency along the CAREC Corridor in Pakistan, particularly in the key road sections in Indus Highway from DG Khan to Jamshoro, and the spin-off sections of N55 north of DG Khan.

“The agreements signed today demonstrate ADB’s continued partnership with the Government of Pakistan to improve living standards through quality investments in infrastructure,” Yang said in a statement. “Investments of the key national highway infrastructure and improved road safety will lead to the systematic transport sector development and job creation, while our investments in Punjab will help deliver inclusive and sustainable urban development.”

Meanwhile, the Bank approved a $100 million in loan to improve and strengthen the development and delivery of public-private partnership (PPP) projects in Punjab.

“The loan from ADB will be used to finance a viability gap fund window, which will enhance the commercial viability of projects and help attract private sector participation in PPPs,” another statement said.

The government of the United Kingdom, through the Department for International Development (DFID), is also cofinancing the capacity building project through a $19.6 million grant and four million dollars technical assistance, both of which will be administered by ADB. DFID’s grant will also be used to finance a dedicated project development facility, which will support the engagement of transaction advisors.

“The total cost of the project is $219.6 million, with the Punjab government contributing $100 million,” the statement added.

The project, under the loan agreement, will support institutional capacity building by engaging procurement and safeguards specialists and project finance experts in the province that will further improve the government’s ability to review, develop, and implement sustainable PPP projects.

Adrian Torres, principal financial sector specialist in ADB’s Central and West Asia Department said the provincial government is “well-placed to use PPPs to deliver better public infrastructure and services with a growing pipeline of projects”.

The provincial government runs a public-private partnership unit to enhance private sector participation in public services delivery, increase growth, and create jobs leading to reduction of poverty.

Currently, the cell has at least 32 projects in the pipeline ranging from development of tourist resort, theme park and restaurant to establishment of effluent treatment plant and intercity bus terminal, according to its website.

The government has already awarded four projects under the public-private partnership mode, including development of ring road, dualisation of Sheikhupura-Gujranwala road, establishment of food grain silos, and construction of affordable housing units.

“ADB’s support will help the government identify and implement PPPs that deliver better value-for-money to the province,” Torres said in the statement.

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