IDB extends $850 million project support to Pakistan

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar chairs a meeting with IDB officials on Monday. PHOTO PID

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar chairs a meeting with IDB officials on Monday. PHOTO PID

THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, ISLAMABAD, 10th SEPTEMBER 2013: The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) ) on Monday announced its commitment for $850 million support for development projects in Pakistan.

According to a release, the support was announced as a five member IDB delegation headed by the institution’s vice president Birama Boubacar Sidibe called on Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in Islamabad on Monday.

Sidibe said that the IDB was prepared to disburse $850 million dollars in addition to the 750 million Euros in support and the $150 million in trade assistance it had approved and started paying in August. The fresh project assistance to Pakistan will be provided over the next three years.

The IDB VP informed Dar that he expects project Pakistan plans to undertake in future would make IDB one of its largest operations. “Your priority is our priority” said Sidibe.

In addition to the financial assistance, Sidibe said that the IDB was also ready to constitute consortiums for financing projects in Pakistan.

The finance minister said that Pakistan looks forward to stronger and better economic relations with IDB in the future.

Sidibe added that Pakistan is an important member country of the IDB. He added that Pakistan’s support of the agency had played some part  in helping it secure a AAA ranking from international rating agencies.

Dar briefed the delegation on status of ongoing power projects in Pakistan including the 969 MW Nelum Jhehum Hydropower Project which the IDB is financing. The finance minister hoped that the project, whose cost had tripled due to neglect of the previous government, would be completed by 2016.

Similarly, work on the 425/525 MW Nanidpur Project, which had been delayed for over three years, had been started in full swing.

Additionally, Dar said that the government is working to add 10,000 MW of generation into the national grid and is presently working on the 2117 MW Karachi coastal project and 6600MW coal fired thermal Project in Gadani. He added that the government was also working on the parallel projects of Diamer Basha Dam and the Dasu Project.

The next meeting of the IDB board is scheduled for June, 2014.

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