Prime Minister show concern on slow pace of utilization of ADB $2.9bln financing facility

Islamabad: Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani Thursday expressed concern on slow pace of utilization of Asian Development Bank’s $2.9 billion financing facility for 22 projects mainly in energy and highway sectors.

Speaking at briefing by Economic Affairs Division attended by Dr Abdul Hafiz Sheikh Finance Minister, Dr Arbab Alamgir Khan Communications Minister, senior officials, he directed Economic Affairs Division to hold monthly meeting to remove snags, if any, in undertaking development projects financed by ADB.

Gilani warned under utilization of foreign funding will be treated as “criminal negligence of Ministries.” He directed monitoring of projects be integral part to determine negligence and know pace of projects completion. “It was inexcusable that projects in energy and infrastructure were delayed for which credit facility was already there.”

Dr Sheikh said projects rationalizing, prioritization should be fundamental principle in development strategy. Taking up too many projects at same time must be avoided. Secretary Finance said ‘commitment charges’ by the government due to delay in funds utilization led to net export of capital causing big losses to national exchequer. Water & Power Secretary said reasons for slow pace of utilizing funds in energy sector had been addressed and would pick up substantially in near future.

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