ADB approves 70pc increase in loan allocation for Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday approved
around 70 percent increase in its loan quota for Pakistan to $7.1
billion for the next three years to help the country meet its
development goals in various economic sectors.Manila-based lender
previously earmarked $4.2 billion under its country operation
business plan 2020-2022.“ADB will provide $2.5 billion in
approved financing to Pakistan in 2019, and recently approved
country operations business plan 2020-2022 will increase average
lending to $2.4 billion a year – a record increase over the $1.4
billion average from 2015 to 2018,” the ADB said in a tweet.“In
addition, ADB will leverage lending through the mobilisation of
co-financing and funding from other sources, including regional
concessional resources. The new COBP will support Pakistan’s
development goals and complement efforts by other development
partners.”The proposed sovereign lending comprises $5.6 billion
from regular ordinary capital resources (OCR) lending and $1.5
billion from concessional OCR loan, including about 25 percent
over-programming to respond to possible operational adjustments.The
non-lending program for 2020–2022 is $22 million inclusive of ADB
and other sources, majority of which are transaction technical
assistance for several pipeline projects.ADB said the pipeline
includes policy- and results-based loans, and multi-tranche
financing facility (MFF) to supplement the government’s energy
reform agenda. The projects would strengthen energy infrastructure,
particularly in transmission, distribution, and gas, increase the
supply of affordable indigenous energy and provide capacity
development support.The fourth tranche of the MFF for power
transmission investment program slipped from 2019 to 2020 and a new
project (Balakot hydropower development) for 2020 has been
included.ADB said it would support the construction and
rehabilitation of national and provincial highways to improve
regional connectivity, transport efficiency, and road safety, with
a focus on upgrading Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation
corridors.“The national highway project from 2019 pipeline is now
firm in 2021 and new projects for 2022 will focus on provincial and
rural road development,” ADB said in a report.ADB said it
supports targets of improved irrigation and water resource and
agricultural market development. New projects under the three-year
strategy include the Punjab agriculture markets development and the
Dera Ghazi Khan canal irrigated agriculture improvement projects
and climate policy sector development program.ADB’s urban program
focuses on water, drainage, sanitation, solid waste, mass transit,
urban governance, and smart city initiatives. New projects, under
the three-year strategy, are Khyber Pakhtunkhwa livable cities
sustainable development and Punjab livable cities sustainable
development programs, and the sustainable urban mobility project in
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.New projects related to finance and public
sector management include policy-based loans for finance sector
reforms and public-private partnership projects in Sindh and
Punjab. ADB is likely to process ‘urgent’ assistance of $1
billion under the special policy-based lending modality and
additional financing of $200 million for the Benazir Income Support
Program.The strengthening of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa health systems
project has also been included in 2021 pipeline. For next year,
technical assistances for the health insurance financing and
preparation of education projects in Sindh and Punjab have been
planned.ADB would also provide $350 million for multi-sector
projects, including the multi-sector development and initiatives
for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and an integrated social protection
development program.
Source: FS – All-News2-Economy
ADB approves 70pc increase in loan allocation for Pakistan