Pakistan acknowledges ADB’s continued support and assured commitment to completing structural reforms
Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan held a meeting with Shixin Chen, Vice President (Operations) of Asian Development Bank in Islamabad and discussed the ADB’s technical and financial assistance for Pakistan including ongoing portfolio and priority areas for future interventions.
The Minister for Economic Affairs appreciated the ADB for their continued and enhanced financial assistance to the Government of Pakistan.
The minister, while appreciating the ADB’s continued support to Pakistan, assured the Vice President, ADB that the Government is committed to completing structural reforms in multiple areas. Both sides discussed new reform areas for ADB’s assistance including Domestic Resource Mobilization, Climate Change and Public-Private Partnerships.
ADB projects in Pakistan
ADB has become the leading development partner of Pakistan in recent years.
At present, 37 ADB-Funded development projects worth US$7.9 billion are under implementation across the country in the energy, road and transport, agriculture, urban infrastructure and social sector. During the current fiscal year, ADB has disbursed US$1.1 billion for various development projects and programs.
ADB has provided over US$ 1.3 billion for COVID-19 response including social protection, vaccination and budgetary support for fiscal stimulus. The Minister also acknowledged the ADB’s timely support for addressing health and socioeconomic challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minister further highlighted that through the National Coordination Committee on Foreign Funded Projects, EAD had significantly improved physical progress and disbursement against the ongoing projects by removing major bottlenecks including delays in land acquisition, right of way issues and hiring of project staff.
The Minister further shared that Economic Affairs Division is going to implement a triad model that is physical progress verification by satellites, financial tracking and use of Gantt Charts for efficient monitoring and smooth implementation of the projects.
Domestic resource mobilization
Domestic Resource Mobilization would help the government to create fiscal space through enhanced revenue collection and overcome the challenge of fiscal deficit.
Furthermore, it was agreed to enhance investments in road sector agriculture, renewable energy, digital connectivity, vocational education and social sector.
ADB vice president acknowledged the GoP’s efforts for reforms in Trade, Energy and Capital Markets. He also commended the GoP’s successful response against COVID -19 pandemic including the mass vaccination program, social protection and relief measures for general public, agriculture and industry.
He further appreciated that ADB’s disbursement for development projects has increased by 25% in a year due to continuous efforts and follow-ups of EAD and ADB Teams. In this regard, he commended the Minister for Economic Affairs for his proactive approach and dedicated efforts for reviewing the progress of projects on regular basis. M
Omar Ayub Khan and Shixin Chen agreed to continue discussing ways to further deepen ADB and Pakistan’s development partnership. Nianshan Zhang, Deputy Director General, Aiming Zhou, Senior Adviser, Yong Ye, Country Director, Asad Aleem, Deputy Country Director and Nasruminallah Mian, Senior Project Officer of ADB also joined the meeting.