ISLAMABAD-The government of Pakistan and the Asian Development Bank have signed a concessional loan agreement amounting to USD $ 15 million. This concessional loan is a Project Readiness Financing Facility for engineering and designing urban development projects in seven (7) major cities across Punjab, as identified by the provincial government. Dr Syed Pervaiz Abbas, Secretary, Economic Affairs Division (EAD), signed the loan agreement with Ms Xiaohong Yang, Country Director, ADB. The Local Government & Community Development Department, Government of the Punjab is the Executing Agency for the subject project. The PRF is expected to be completed by 31st October, 2022. The PRF shall prepare readiness for ensuing projects across seven major cities in Punjab province, which are: Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Rahim Yar Khan, Rawalpindi, and Sargodha.

The activities under the PRF include:

i) Preparation of Spatial Land Use Plans;

ii)Updating surveys and studies, and investigating potential geological and hydrological sites;

iii)Conducting due diligence assessments, which will include technical, financial, economic and socio-economic analysis, in addition to environmental and social impact assessments;

iv)Prepare Detailed Engineering Designs (DEDs);

v)Advanced Procurement actions, if any;

vi)Institutional strengthening activities for metropolitan and municipal corporations/ committees for improved service delivery models.

Federal Secretary for Economic Affairs and County Director ADB expressed their strong commitment to further the cooperation for socio-economic development of Pakistan.