Geneva donors moot pledges reach $10.9b: Ahsan

ISLAMABAD      –            Federal Minister for planning ahsan Iqbal has said that pledges in Geneva donor conference have reached to $10.9 billion adding that the government will gear up the implementation process and to conduct a third party evaluation of the projects to ensure transparency. The minister expressed these views while chairing a meeting on the formulation of strategy ‘post Geneva roadmap’ to implement the decisions of the International Conference on Climate resilient pakistan, held in Geneva on January 9 for the reconstruction in flood-affected areas in Pakistan.

It was decided in the meeting to gear up efforts for the implementation of resilient recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction Framework (4rF) and the pledges.

The minister said that pakistan received an unprecedented response from the donor conference which was a great ‘success’ for the country. “we have to continue the work with the same spirit for the implementation of the pledges without any delay,” said the minister, while stressing the stakeholders to expedite the implementation process.

It is noted that the 4rF would be materialised in three phases including short term up to one-year, medium-term up to three years and longterm up to five to seven years’ period. During the meeting, it was decided that a ministerial committee be notified for coordination among all the stakeholders in order to implement the pledges and recommendations of 4rF through institutional mechanisms at federal and provincial level.

The 4Fr document suggested effective coordination and participation arrangement among federal and provincial governments, development partners, donors, international and nationals NGOs, academic and private sector. In October last year, the post-Damage Needs assessment (pDNa) — conducted jointly by the government of pakistan and its international development partners, including the world Bank, the asian Development Bank, the european Union, UN relief agencies, had estimated the aggregate cost of the calamity at $30.1 billion.

The minister asked all the relevant miniseries to make a timeline for the projects so that it can be implemented timely. During the meeting, it was also decided to conduct a third party evaluation to ensure the transparency of the projects. Meanwhile, while discussing how to enhance pakistan’s export, ahsan Iqbal said we need to emphasise our tax-toGDp ratio, which was around 16-18% previously but now reduces to 9% only. The country needs more investment, both local and foreign.

It will reduce pakistan’s dependency on the IMF. The biggest challenge is how to increase exports from $32 billion to $100 billion. For this, we need to find new products and explore new markets, he maintained. The minister also said to analyse how foreign aid is linked with growth previously.

During the era of 1980s, pakistan got many projects and easy money. In the 1990s, we faced sanctions, and the IMF asked us for commercial borrowing, which escalated our debt servicing. In 2018, we had debt servicing of around 1500 billion, which increased to around 4500 billion recently. It leaves us no space for a development budget.

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