Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan chaired a high-level meeting to review the progress on different projects funded by the World Bank (WB). The meeting was attended by the World Bank Team, led by Country Director Najy Benhassine and senior officers of the Economic Affairs Division (EAD).
Najy Benhassine, Country Director WB, briefed the Minister that currently, 54 projects are being implemented under WB’s financing of US$ 12.4 billion across the country. Out of 54 projects, 23 projects worth US$ 7.8 billion are being implemented by the Federal Government against which US$ 3.4 billion has been disbursed so far.
During the meeting, projects related to the energy sector were given special focus including National Transmission Modernization Project, Tarbela Fourth Extension Hydropower Project and Dasu Hydropower (Stage 1) Project. The Minister directed to expedite the implementation of Islamabad West Substation which is an important link to evacuate power from the Dasu Hydropower Project. It was noted that the new security arrangements have been put in place and the overall implementation progress of the Dasu Hydropower Project has been improved as 11 major contracts amounting to US$ 3 billion have been awarded including electro-mechanical works.
The World Bank team informed the Minister that the National Immunization Support Project is heading toward its successful completion in June 2022. The second round of the Third-Party Vaccination Immunization Coverage Survey will be conducted in April 2022, based on which funds can be disbursed for DLI related payments.
Other projects including Pakistan Housing Finance (Additional Financing), Resilient Institutions to Sustainable Economy (RSE-II), National Health Support Program, and Program for Affordable & Clean Energy (PACE-II) were also discussed in the meeting.
The Minister also directed the EAD officials to set up a project management unit in the Division with the assistance of the World Bank and Asian Development Bank for effective and efficient monitoring of the development projects. The Minister emphasized on designing a substantial program to track the outcomes of ongoing projects. The m,inister further directed the relevant authorities to identify the critical path and set timelines for expeditious implementation of all the foreign-funded projects.
This report was first published in Business Recorder on February 10, 2022.