LAHORE

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and government will assess on Monday (today) the performance of ADB-funded projects in Pakistan during 2014 and first half of 2015.

Official sources in Planning and Development Department told that performance in sectors like Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, Energy, Transport and Water and other Urban Infrastructure and Services will be analysed in the joint meeting.

The volume of energy sector investments grew two-folds from 2006 to 2011, to about $1.3 billion under the financing facilities. The investment further increased to $2.5 billion in 2014 with the approval of Jamshoro Power Generation Project and $400 million of programme loan, sources added.

On the contrary, the number of provincial transport projects declined, resulting in reduction of transport sector from $1.6 billion in 2007 to $400 million in 2011 and sustained at same level till end of 2014 in the absence of new approvals. The government has started massive rural roads programmes in the current fiscal year that would counter impression of low investment in the road sector.

In 2014, the transport portfolio comprises of 3 active projects amounting to $576 million, the documents revealed. The agriculture, natural resources and rural development maintained an active portfolio of 3 projects amounting to $545 million, covering large irrigation infrastructure and integrated development projects. In addition, ADB financed $574 million for rehabilitation of 2010 flood damages in transport and irrigation sectors.

Moreover, the sources lauded the year 2014 concluded with good overall progress on disbursements, large volume of new loan approvals, cleaning of overdue accounts, marked improvement in submission of audit reports and overcoming challenges in complying with ADB’s Safeguard Policy 2009. In 2014, policy based lending resumed after lapse of 4 years and as a result, $400 million were approved and disbursed.

An official told that the energy sector remained a challenge. In the transmission of funds closing in December 2016, out of active projects of $666 million, only 52pc contracts are awarded ($346 million) and 27pc disbursed ($178.3 million). In the distribution of funds closing in December 2017, out of active projects of $594 million, only 53pc contracts are awarded ($312 million) and 24pc disbursed ($142.3 million).

As per official documents, investment in infrastructure is one of the core areas of the ADB’s operations in Strategy 2020. The focus of infrastructure investments in Pakistan in the last five years remained mainly on larger projects. In 2014, the energy sector comprised more than half of the Pakistan’s active portfolio and is likely to grow in the coming years.