ADB and development
The Asian Development Bank(ADB) has proposed to assist Pakistan during the current year in launching seven projects costing about 800 million dollars. This is the first instalment of the three-year 2.4 billion dollar assistance programme the Bank had earlier finalized as part of its contribution to Pakistan's on-going economic restructuring process.
The seven projects identified by the ADB for the current year seem to have been conceived keeping in mind the immediate needs of the country. Since the installation of local governments in August 2001, attempts are being made to provide access to social services at the grassroots level. Perhaps to remove the bottlenecks in the way of this process in Sindh, the ADB has proposed a 150-million-dollar contribution for undertaking this project during the year. A similar amount has been allocated for the Punjab Resource Management Programme.
Official economic managers will surely find this project immensely helpful, especially in a province which has the largest population and resource-wise is heavily dependent on the federal government.
Balochistan has been allocated 150 million dollars for a road development programme which also includes construction of farm-to-market roads and connecting road links with Afghanistan. Having a relatively small road network to serve its huge territorial expanse, any project aimed at narrowing this deficiency in Balochistan should be welcome.
Secondly, with reconstruction and rehabilitation work in Afghanistan just about to begin, neighbouring Balochistan is likely to benefit considerably if it serves as an easy-to-traverse conduit for the needed goods and services en route to Afghanistan.
The 100 million dollars allocated for Industrial Efficiency and Environmental Management too are likely to help improve the situation in a crucially important sector. Our industrial practices are still largely very primitive, and there is need to cut down on costly waste in order to improve our per capita productivity.
One also hopes that the 40 million dollars allocated to a FATA development project would be utilized properly and efficiently to help improve the lot of the people in this backward area.