Tuesday November 30, 2021

Govt clarifies concessional financing from AIIB

June 16, 2020

ISLAMABAD: This is apropos to a news item appeared in section of print media that “One billion dollar guaranteed concessional loan from Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is being jeopardised due to lack of inter-provincial and federal coordination”.

In a statement issued by Economic Affairs Division (EAD) on Monday, spokesperson clarified that the concessional financing from AIIB for the two projects of government of Punjab is not at risk due to lack of federal-provincial coordination. The Economic Affairs Division, on the request of government of Punjab, approached Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in 2018 for financing of ‘Lahore Water and Waste Water Management Project’ and ‘Construction of Rawalpindi Ring Road’ projects.

The projects were proposed for financing at inception stage and detailed preparations were required subsequently. The government of Punjab is conducting detailed preparation studies for the project. The AIIB also approved a Project Preparation Grant of $500,000/- for preparation of Lahore Water and Waste Water Project. The PC – Is for Surface Water Supply and Trunk Sewers have also been approved by ECNEC on 02.10.2019 and 16.03.2020, respectively.

Presently, the government of Punjab is in the process to complete land acquisition process for aforementioned components of Lahore Water and Waste Water Management Project. Similarly, for Rawalpindi Ring Road, services of a consultant have been hired to complete detailed design and alignment for the road.

Spokesperson also clarified that these financing indication by AIIB are indicative and the impression that concessional financing may lapse is not true as this is not backed with any official policy of the AIIB. The Economic Affairs Division is persistently coordinating with government of Punjab for preparation of project related documents and timely delivery of the projects.

Mehtab Haider adds: This scribe did story on the basis of official documents and after taking viewpoint of all sides. The efficiency of both federal and Punjab governments can be gauged from this fact that they could not finalise facility of this loan amount after passing of more than two years. The purpose of this story was to alert both the governments so that they could take prompt action. The so-called clarification speaks itself that they could not finalise project of $1 billion concessional loans. There are three projects and not two as mentioned into clarification. So the EAD must rectify its basic facts before clarifying story. This scribe stands by each and every word written in its published story.