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Pakistan didn’t seek cancellation of projects, says World Bank

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KARACHI: The World Bank released a statement on Friday, giving its view on a report ‘Kabul links trilateral transit trade to Wagah border opening’ which appeared in Dawn on April 24.

The World Bank’s country director claimed that the government of Pakistan had not requested the Bank to drop the two projects as was mentioned in the story. Both projects were prepared at the request of Pakistan’s Economic Affairs Division (EAD) and subsequently approved by the executive directors of the World Bank in May and June of 2018. Both are financed by the World Bank’s concessional financing arm, the International Development Association.

The official was commenting on the news report saying Islamabad had dropped Khyber Pass Economic Corridor and Hydromet and Disaster Management Project for insufficient economic and financial viability. The country director claimed that he had been assured by the EAD secretary and other senior officials that “no such decision had been taken”.

According to the statement, the projects worth $1.6 billion on concessional terms for FY19 had been prepared and were pending the final government approval. “Therefore, no projects have been approved by the World Bank’s board this fiscal year. Upcoming projects focus on domestic revenue mobilisation, higher education, tourism and agriculture development in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and improving infrastructure, ease of doing business and local government services in Karachi.

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