ADB irked by halting of corruption probe in Pakistan

September 24th, 2008 - 3:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Sep 24 (IANS) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is unhappy with Pakistan for suspending a probe into the alleged misappropriation of Rs.4 billion ($51 million) in a flood protection programme without fixing any responsibility, a media report Wednesday said.”The issue has triggered a serious debate within the ADB management and its auditors because the bank has failed (to) keep oversight over a project to which it has contributed about $100 million,” Dawn said.

The bank’s operations evaluation department (OED) has also criticised poor performance of some of the Pakistani agencies in achieving the objectives set and called for completion of the probe.

The Rs.8 billion flood protection project, launched in 2000, was scaled down to Rs.4 billion after the World Bank decided to divert $100 million because of inefficient handling. The ADB then reduced its funding for inordinate delays in executing the project.

Even so, the overall project implementation has been rated as “successful” on a scale of highly satisfactory, satisfactory, successful and unsatisfactory, Dawn said.

Out of 28 yardsticks, 10 were highly satisfactory, 16 satisfactory and two partially fulfilled.

“OED regards it as unfortunate that the two partially fulfilled covenants happened to be very important ones - one on training of the officials for improving institutional capacity and the other pertaining to the beneficiaries in subprojects which was important for subprojects’ sustainable operation and maintenance,” an OED report said.

The performance completion report (PCR) concluded that as beneficiaries’ participation in some subprojects was not ensured, the sustainability of operation and maintenance of these subprojects might be affected.

The OED also noted that compliance with most of the loan covenants was delayed.

The PCR rated the performance of the Federal Flood Commission as “partly satisfactory”, the Pakistan Meteorological Department as “unsatisfactory”, and the Water and Power Development Authority’s water wing as “highly satisfactory”.

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