ISLAMABAD: The total outstanding balances and undisbursed commitments of the non-sovereign transactions of Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Pakistan amounts to $242.48 million by the end of 2022.

The latest fact sheet on Pakistan released by ADB showed total commitments in non-sovereign loans, equity investments and guarantees from ADB’s own funds in 2022 amounted to $1.1 billion for 37 transactions in economic and social infrastructure, finance sector and agribusiness.

Non-sovereign co-financing amounted to $13.38bn for 24 investment projects since 1993, and sovereign co-financing of $5.13bn for 54 investment projects and $107.87m for 65 technical assistance projects was provided since 1973.

In 2022, Pakistan received $500m loan co-financing from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank for the Building Resilience with Active Countercyclical Expenditures Programme.

Bank’s commitments in 2022 amount to $1.1bn

The floods in 2022, impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, security issues, structural risks and adverse external shocks continue to pose major economic challenges to Pakistan.

Uncertainties and institutional factors continue to weigh on project implementation. These include land acquisition procedures, procurement delays caused by restrictions and price fluctuations affecting import of construction material.

However, tripartite portfolio review meetings among ADB, the government and executing agencies help resolve project implementation issues.

Continued efforts toward fiscal consolidation and policy reforms will be key to improvements in macroeconomic recovery and stability, especially in broadening the tax base and improving the business environment in the country.

Reforms are required to promote high value-added exports, expand social spending, reinforce the energy sector’s financial and technical sustainability and implement structural changes that will strengthen institutions and create jobs.

About future directions, the fact sheet said the ADB will continue supporting the Pakistan in its post-flood reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts. Priorities included improving economic management, building resilience, boosting competitiveness and private sector development.

The ADB’s assistance in domestic resource mobilisation, financial inclusion and energy sector reforms will support the government in its macroeconomic management.

To build resilience, the bank will continue to support Pakistan in climate adaptation and the transition to clean energy.

To date, the ADB has committed 740 public sector loans, grants and technical assistance totaling $39.7bn to Pakistan. Cumulative loan and grant disbursements to Pakistan amount to $30.76bn.

The ADB’s ongoing sovereign portfolio in Pakistan includes 53 loans and 3 grants worth $9.59bn.

In 2022, ADB’s loan and grant disbursements to Pakistan amounted to $2.49bn.

This includes $1.8bn in programme lending, $680m from project lending and $4.6m from grants.The bank provided $1.5bn to help Pakistan boost social protection, promote food security and support employment for people.

Published in Dawn, July 17th, 2023

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