ADB plans to invest $2b in energy

By Staff Reporter
Sunday – December 15, 2019
ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) plans to invest two billion dollars in the energy sector during the coming three years, the said international financial institution (IFI) remains top energy sector partner with $2.1 billion portfolio with $300 million released this week for sector reform including addressing the circular debt.

According to official statements, this was stated by a high level ADB team headed by director general (DG) for Central and West Asia department, Werner Liepach who met power minister Omar Ayub Khan and special assistant to the prime minister on petroleum, Nadeem Babar, on Wednesday.

Separately, Liepach called on prime minister (PM) Imran Khan in the federal capital, on Wednesday, Liepach lauded the steps taken by the government of Pakistan (GoP) for steering the country out of difficult economic condition towards stability.

He highlighted that under the special policy based loan and policy based loan programme, the ADB has contributed significantly towards the economic stabilisation and economic reform programme in Pakistan.

PM Khan appreciated the ongoing support from the ADB in the social protection, agriculture sector, infrastructure development and financial sector in the country. He highlighted the efforts of the economic team of the GoP for putting the country’s economy on the stabilisation path.

PM Khan said that the incumbent government has focused its energies for the uplift of the poor segments of the population, particularly in the low cost housing sector.

The economic affairs division (EAD) minister Muhammad Hammad Azhar, adviser to PM Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and ADB country director, in Pakistan, Xiaohong Yang were present during the meeting with the PM.

Meanwhile, planning, development and reform minister Asad Umar met with Liepach, who called on him in the federal capital, on Wednesday, matters related to ADB’s support for development projects were discussed.

Umar said that the process of approval of development projects and disbursement of funds to such projects had been liberalised over the last 15 months, and the project authorities have been given greater freedom to approve and implement projects.

He said that apart from the power and communications sector, which receive the bulk of foreign financing, housing, agriculture, tourism, information technology (IT) and small medium enterprises (SMEs) sectors are being given priority by the government.

Liepach said that ADB will continue to support Pakistan in improving its productivity in the manufacturing and agriculture sectors. He said that Pakistani businesses should strive to be more competitive.

“Pakistan is a gateway to Central Asia and there is huge potential available through regional integration,” Liepach added.

Umar said that the incumbent regime wants to make use of the young population, resources and regional trade for growth and prosperity.

During the meeting, matters related to energy sector reform, housing, finance, agro-financing and alternative financing mechanisms came under discussion.

The planning secretary Zafar Hasan and senior officials of the ministry were present.