The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide $72.4 million to Pakistan for National Highway Development Project in Balochistan which aims to modernise the communication services in the province.
In this regard, a grant agreement was signed on Thursday between ADB and the Economic Affairs Division (EAD). EAD Secretary Tariq Bajwa and ADB Country Director Dr Werner E. Liepach inked the agreement on behalf of their respective organisations.
According to the agreement, the grant would be provided by the Department of International Development of the United Kingdom (DIFD) and would be administered by the EAD.
The DIFD grant will also replace part of the ADB project loan of $195 million already signed with the ADB during the last financial year for highway network development project in Balochistan.
After the DIFD grant of $72.4 million, the loan amount will be reduced from $195 million to $122.60 million which will also save commitment charges for the government of Pakistan.
Speaking on the occasion, the EAD secretary thanked the valuable financial and technical support of the bank and DIFD for socio-economic uplift of the country and development of infrastructure projects.
He said that the ADB and DIFD were providing vital support to Pakistan particularly for efficiency gains from road traffic operations along National Transport Corridor.
He said that National Highway Development project in Balochistan would rehabilitate 8 km of the existing tow-line national highway of Zhob-Muhhal Kot of N-50 and 120 km road of Qila Saifullah-Waghum of N-70.
Tariq Bajwa also assured of Pakistan’s commitment to mobilise all its resources and scale up activities for improving and developing inter-provincial linkages to enhance local connectivity.
Speaking on the occasion, ADB Country Director Dr Werner Liepach assured ADB’s support for socio-economic development and prosperity of the country.
He also appreciated the efforts of the government for taking measures to revamp the existing transport and trade infrastructure and improving the communications facilities in the country.
He praised the government for infrastructure development for improved connectivity to steer economic growth and social development of Pakistan.