ISLAMABAD: Pakistan‘s ministry of economic affairs on Thursday stated that 43 per cent of the foreign-funded projects were problematic.
The ministry said that 43 per cent of about $35 billion worth of these projects were problematic – either not progressing well or unable to deliver the desired outcomes, the Dawn newspaper reported.
Addressing the National Coordination Committee’s review meeting on foreign-funded projects, the ministry mentioned that it was managing an ongoing portfolio of $34.8 billion such projects in various economic sectors, of which projects worth over $15 billion (43 per cent) are considered problematic.
An official statement issued by the ministry mentioned that the share of federal energy projects is about $3.3 billion, of $2.3 billion (or almost 70 per cent) is rated as problematic.
No wonder then, the energy sector is emerging as a challenge to the country’s stability, an official said, referring to over 17 per cent losses and 10 per cent short recoveries in the power sector and 10-17 per cent system losses in the gas sector, the local media reported.
Economic affairs minister Sardar Ayaz Sadiq chaired the review meeting which was attended by the heads of implementing agencies, the relevant ministers and the representatives of provincial governments.
Sadiq emphasised the impact of energy sector projects on the overall economy and the public at large while detesting the prevailing situation.
Energy was arguably one of the most important inputs for economic growth to sustain industrial and commercial activities, he said, adding that it was emerging as a challenge.
The minister urged the need to resolve problematic projects concerning chronic delays in the projects. Sadiq along with other Pakistan officials also set up goals with timelines for better monitoring and preventing time and greater efficiency.
Regular follow-up monthly meetings were proposed by economic affairs secretary Mian Asad Hayauddin for monitoring and prompt resolution of issues.
The review meeting comes amid the economic crisis in Pakistan for which the country is seeking the help of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Earlier, talks were held between the Pakistan government and the IMF in Doha where the organisation wanted Pakistan to undertake measures for the revival of the stalled $6 billion programme to control its fiscal deficit.
Against this backdrop, Shehbaz Sharif has increased fuel prices for the third time in recent weeks and removed fuel subsidies to trim the fiscal deficit and secure critical support from the IMF.