Asian Development Bank offers to double aid to Pakistan

February 26th, 2009 - 11:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Feb 26 (DPA) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Thursday offered cash-strapped Pakistan to double its annual assistance to $3 billion during the incoming fiscal year staring July 1, a senior official of the bank said.
“We can double Pakistan’s assistance up to three billion per annum provided Islamabad makes a request and the funds available to ADB are increased,” the bank’s vice president Zhao Xiaoyu told reporters in Islamabad.

The statement came after his talks with Pakistan’s deputy minister for economic affairs Hina Rabbani Khar. The visiting official also met the Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

Under the offered deal, the ADB’s assistance for the next three years would be jacked up to $9 billion from $4.5 billion for fiscal years 2009-2010 to 2012-13.

Xiaoyu also said that the ADB was ready to extend its financing facility for construction of mega water projects in the country.

Pakistan is looking for assistance for its $12-billion Basha dam project to overcome the power-crisis the country is currently facing.

According to the plan, the work on the hydro-electric power project will be started within the ongoing calendar year 2009 and when completed it will produce some 4500 megawatt power.

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