ISLAMABAD   -  The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Monday assured that it will help the government of Pakistan in mobilising required resources for local currency bonds;

The assurance was made by a delegation of ADB, led by the Director General Central West Asian Department, Asian Development Bank Werner Liepach, which called on the Minister for Planning Development and Reforms Makhdom Khusru Bakhtyar here. Member infrastructure, member private sector development and competitiveness, chief macro economics and senior officials from ministry were also present in the meeting.

The minister, while welcoming the delegation, lauded the role of ADB in modernizing infrastructure initiatives in Pakistan, adding that the cooperation further needed to be expanded in the education , health, water, energy and infrastructure especially in the under developed areas of the country .

The planning minister said that the government is planning to off load some burden from PSDP for commercially viable infrastructure projects by resorting to innovative financing through public private partnership and viability gap financing. The government is also trying to reduce regional inequality through regional equalization strategy, he maintained.

The minister for Planning Makhdom Khusru Bakhtyar said that the government is also trying to use cities as engine of growth and trying to develop 50 intermediate cities across the country by developing basic urban infrastructure. He also stressed the need for impact assessment of the projects on regional growth and creation of job opportunities for locals.

Mukhdom Khusru Bakhtyar also informed the delegation about the government’s vision of restructuring the public sector and improving the governance for more efficient service delivery.

ADB also ensured that it will help the government in mobilizing required resources in local currency bonds; ADB is ready to provide transaction advisory services for developing institutional capacity and competitiveness.

The Asian Development Bank Central West Asian Department Director General Werner Liepach said that ADB is also working on important infrastructure projects in Karachi and also it has a program with Punjab government regarding intermediate city development. In this regard work is also going on in two cities, Sahiwal and Sialkot.