Stuck up projects


OUR policy makers are good at envisaging mega projects but their proper and timely implementation has always remained an issue which has impeded the sustainable development of the country. In some cases, there could be the issue of funds but the ones being funded and financed by the foreign aid or loans have also been stuck up for various reasons especially the capacity issues by our bureaucracy .
Chairing a meeting on Wednesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan also took notice of the situation and very rightly directed expeditious release of $ 14 billion stuck up foreign loans against the ongoing development projects. The directive came as the bureaucracy failed to finalize a viable action plan to remove bottlenecks to unlock the much needed stimulus funds. The delay in the completion of the development schemes is not only negating the intended economic benefits the projects are supposed to accrue, it is also tantamount to wastage of the cheap, long-term development foreign loans.
The borrowing cost of these loans is reportedly in the range of one point two five per cent to three per cent and the loans are required to be returned in 19 to 30 years. This significantly reduces the risk of rollover and refinancing. However, the majority of multilateral lenders impose commitment charges for not utilizing the outstanding balance that could put an extra burden on the national exchequer. Indeed, $14 billion is a huge amount. By bringing the funds in use, the country can propel the economic growth and create immense job opportunities for our youth. We are confident that the Prime Minister who himself is giving a lot of emphasis to ease of doing business will personally look into these projects as these can really help the government ease economic situation and provide relief to the masses. By simplifying the approval processes, removing bureaucratic hurdles and fast tracking the contract award process, the government can easily mobilize most of the undisbursed money. This is an opportunity at hand for the government to unleash economic activity in the country and without wastage of any further time; it must start the process that see the execution of the stuck up projects.

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