Saturday, February 26, 2005

Pakistan Gets Huge Loan for Renewable Energy

Pakistan to get $1b ADB loan a year
ISLAMABAD, Feb 26 : The Asian Development Bank will introduce a new five-year loan programme for Pakistan and other member countries from 2006. Pakistan is expected to receive about $1 billion loans per year from the bank under the new programme, ADB Country Director in Pakistan Marshuk Shah said.
“The existing lending programme will expire by December 2005, and the ADB will start a new plan for five years period, to be implemented from January 2006 to 2010,” he said, and added the annual lending of the bank is based on the calendar year.
Shah said the bank is increasing the amount of highly concessional loans for Pakistan gradually. He said in 2004, the ADB provided $228 million soft loans, which did not involve any mark-up, but only less than one percent service charges. “In 2005, the bank has decided to increase soft loans for Pakistan to near $350 million out of total plan of $800 million for different projects.”
He said the bank would enhance the quantum of interest-free or soft-term loans in future, but further increase in soft loans for Pakistan in the upcoming programme would depend on the availability of funds with the ADB.
Shah said tsunami had eroded the funds of the bank, as it allocated around one billion dollars for the tsunami-hit countries.
He said had tsunami not taken place the bank might have increased concessional loans for Pakistan to over $500 million a year from 2006.
He said the bank was focusing on extending loans to Pakistan for infrastructure, communications and energy sectors for development, creation of employment opportunities and poverty reduction. He said in the coming two years, his bank would provide $500 million for transmission, distribution and renewable energy projects in Pakistan besides $200 million for wind, solar and other resources of alternative and renewable energy.
He said the bank had already announced about $800 million loans for various road projects in Pakistan to improve connectivity within the country as well as region, especially Afghanistan, Central Asian Republics, Iran, etc.
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