ISLAMABAD  - Federal Minister for Planning Development and Reforms Prof Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday directed speedy implementation of ongoing foreign assisted development projects Rs 670 billion.

He was chairing a meeting of ‘foreign assisted PSDP projects review committee’, which was attended by delegations from World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Japan, US Aid and project executing ministries including Ministry of Water and Power, Ministry of Communication, Health, Education and Commerce.

The committee reviewed progress on ongoing foreign assisted development projects of Rs 670 billion for financial year 2013-2014. Reviewed projects included Rs 408.5 billion projects assisted by Asian Development Bank, projects worth Rs 141 billion assisted by World Bank, Rs 72 billion assisted by Japan and Rs 50 billion assisted by US Aid, with partial and complete funding. These projects, whose performance was reviewed, were from various sectors including, power sector, communication, governance, human resource development, education and health sectors. Projects reviewed included Rs 475 billion projects related to energy sector while projects worth Rs 134 billion were of infrastructure development related including roads, bridges and highways.

Federal minister said,” Foreign donors are our development partners, considering their role and contribution in our development through financing and we must ensure proper utilization of funds and timely completion of projects.”

He further said, “Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms is strengthening its scrutiny and monitoring systems to ensure proper scrutiny and management of development projects. In foreign aided projects, ministries and development partners should work together at design stage to ensure buy in of all the stakeholders to avoid delays due to subsequent disagreements”. The minister ordered inquiries into projects with cost over runs and delays.