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Federal Minister for Planning Development & Reform Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyarhas said that efforts are underway to expedite the implementation of Asian Development Bank funded projects by streamlining the process to achieve the country’s development strategy and socio-economic goals. He said that it has been decided to review the ongoing ADB portfolio every month in consultation with all relevant stakeholders to remove bottlenecks and gaps in implementation of projects.
The Minister was talking to Vice President (Operations-I), ADB, Mr. Shixin Chen, who along-with a delegation called on him in Islamabad on Thursday. Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr. Muhammad Jahanzeb Khan, members Planning Commission and senior officials of the Ministry were also present in the meeting.
The Minister appreciated the Bank’s cooperation over the decades in strengthening the country’s infrastructure and in achieving socio-economic goals. Welcoming the ADB’s indicative assistance of $7.5 billion over the next three years for Pakistan, the Minister said that ADB portfolio may be expanded to include other priority areas. He noted that the Bank’s Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for 2020-2024 is under preparation and the bank may consider supporting new areas including Clean & Green Pakistan initiative, information & communications technology, higher education, housing sector, water supply for Islamabad and improving governance structures for achieving sustained development. He hoped that CPS (2020-24) will be finalized soon in consultation with all the stakeholders.
The meeting decided to improve the disbursement process for early implementation of ongoing projects. It was apprised that ADB ongoing portfolio (loans & grants) amounted to $6.15 billion against 50 projects out of which $1.98 billion has been disbursed.
ADB Vice President said that the Bank has long lasting and strong partnership with Pakistan and expressed confidence that future partnership will be further strengthened. He also appreciated the commitment and efficiency of Planning Commission in fast tracking the approval of foreign funded projects.