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New World Bank loan of $825 million

According to newspaper reports, the World Bank has approved another loan of $825 million for Pakistan to improve public finance management and upgrade power transmission system. At least $425 million has been obtained on commercial terms and the money will be returnable in 21 years while $400 million will be given for Public Finance Management. The new package of loan indicates the country has been fully dependent on external loan programmes and the policymakers are accepting the loans as reward rather than punishment. The speed with which the burden of loan is growing will definitely have adverse effects on the country’s economy. What the leadership of today is sowing will be reaped by the coming generations. There is no doubt the electricity transmission is not only outdated, but has also started crumbling and is causing billions of rupees line losses every year. The system is a blessing for corrupt elements that hide their wrongdoings under the garb of line losses. However, hardly 65 percent of the budget allocated for a project is used in this country as 35 percent goes into the pockets of every Tom, Dick and Harry in the official hierarchy. The country is in the grip of a vicious circle of corruption and loans are adding liabilities of the general public rather than brining any good to their lives.

The National Assembly and Senate are in operational mode but the matters of loan had never been discussed in the two heights forums of the country. Once the government forms blue print of a project, it must be discussed in the National Assembly and approval must be sought from the public representatives. The new loan has been obtained on the ground that it will be used to resolve the issue of gap between electricity demand and supply, as the generation capacity of the country will cross 30,000 megawatt during the next five years.

The government is considering taking a total of $36 billion loan to expand the transmission system. Under the same head, Pakistan has already availed another $800 million loan from the Asian Development Bank but delays in the execution of the project ruined the efficacy of the whole project. The government has obtained $400 million loan to improve Public Finance Management system, and it cover health and education sectors. The administrative management and finance are the two areas responsible for giving the direction of the economy and financial stability. The government is simply a failure on the two accounts.


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