ADB to provide $7.528 billion for Pak’s development projects in three years

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From Business Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has planned to support Pakistan with lending of $7.528 billion for various development projects during next three years. In its new Country Operations Business Plan (COBP) for Pakistan 2019-21 revealed yesterday, the ADB has proposed sovereign lending program for next three years worth $7.528 billion, consisting of $5.37 billion from regular Ordinary Capital Resource (OCR) lending and $2.158 billion from Concessional COR Lending (COL). COL includes a carryover of $600 million from 2018.

The non-lending program for 2019–2021 is $21.7 million, including transaction technical assistance for various pipeline projects.

An amount of $2.245 billion in ADB loan financing is allocated for the energy sector, which is 29.8 percent of the total pipeline for 2019–2021.

The pipeline includes a multi-tranche financing facility for Transmission Strengthening (tranche 1) for National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC), Hydropower Development Project for Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), and support for the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Gas Pipeline Project. For transport sector, some $1.394 billion of ADB loan financing for the sector (18.5% of the total pipeline) have been allocated for the transport sector.

The pipeline includes the Sustainable National Highway Project and the Sindh Hyderabad Southern Bypass Project.

ADB also proposes support for the revitalization of Pakistan Railways to improve transport sector sustainability, including exploring non conventional financing arrangements.

For agriculture, natural resources, and rural development, ADB has allocated $794 million in loan financing to the sector (10.6% of the total pipeline).

The pipeline includes the Greater Thal Canal Irrigation Project, the Kurram Tangi Water Resources Project, and the Smaller Cholistan Water Resources Development Project.

Similarly for water and other urban infrastructure and services, the ADB has allocated $470 million in ADB loan financing (6.2% of the total pipeline).

The pipeline includes a cross-sector project readiness facility for Punjab and the Punjab Cities Improvement Project.

ADB has also allocated $2.4 billion in loan financing to the finance and public sector management sectors (31.9% of the total pipeline).

The COBP, 2019-2021, includes new projects such as trade and competitiveness program (subprogram 1) in 2019; financial markets development in 2020; infrastructure financing and PPPs in 2021; as well as the second phase of support for the Benazir Income Support Program in 2020.

The education and health sectors pipeline includes $225 million in loan financing (3.0% of the total pipeline). ADB’s re-engagement in education and health sectors includes $175 million for projects on secondary education in Sindh and improving workforce readiness and skills development in Punjab, and $50 million project to improve quality of health care services in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

ADB will also provide technical assistance across sectors to help project implementation and to generate and disseminate knowledge products to support policy and project development, as well as to enhance project quality and readiness.

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