CitiBank of­fers fi­nance for Pak­istan gov’t projects

The China Post - - WORLD BUSINESS -

Fol­low­ing the im­prove­ment in the coun­try’s credit rat­ing, CitiBank has of­fered fi­nanc­ing for gov­ern­ment projects in Pak­istan, in­clud­ing a pro­posal for the re­vival of the na­tional flag car­rier.

The of­fer was made by a CitiBank del­e­ga­tion, led by its coun­try of­fi­cer Nadeem Lodhi, which called on Fi­nance Min­is­ter Ishaq Dar on Wed­nes­day, an of­fi­cial state­ment said.

Sources said that Dar wel­comed the of­fer but asked the del­e­ga­tion to come up with spe­cific fi­nanc­ing packages that could be con­sid­ered for ex­e­cu­tion.

The min­is­ter briefed the del­e­ga­tion on Pak­istan’s re­newed en­gage­ment with in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions, in­clud­ing the World Bank and In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund (IMF), who were en­cour­aged by the na­tional econ­omy’s sta­bil­ity.

He said that Pak­istan was now also qual­i­fied to be a World Bank ‘client coun­try’ af­ter meet­ing the re­quired cri­te­rion. All in­ter­na­tional rat­ing agen­cies had ac­corded sta­ble rat­ings to Pak­istan’s econ­omy, he said.

The del­e­ga­tion ap­prised the fi­nance min­is­ter about the US$120 mil­lion fi­nanc­ing for PIA, ar­ranged by CitiBank through the Ex­portIm­port (Exim) Bank of the United States and the Is­lamic Devel­op­ment Bank.

The min­is­ter was told that the U.S. Exim Bank was un­der­tak­ing fi­nanc­ing in Pak­istan af­ter a gap of seven years, re­flect­ing grow­ing in­ter­na­tional con­fi­dence in Pak­istan’s im­proved eco­nomic stature.

The money, the min­is­ter was told, would be used to com­mis­sion an over­haul of PIA planes’ en­gines by GE Avi­a­tion, a sub­sidiary of the Gen­eral Elec­tric Com­pany.

The min­is­ter ap­pre­ci­ated CitiBank’s ef­forts for ar­rang­ing fi­nances for PIA and their in­ter­est in fi­nanc­ing gov­ern­ment projects.

Separately, Balochis­tan Chief Min­is­ter Dr. Ab­dul Ma­lik Baloch also called on the fi­nance min­is­ter and sought his at­ten­tion for the long­stand­ing is­sue of com­pen­sa­tion for those af­fected by the Mi­rani Dam.

Ma­lik said that 2007 floods had in­flicted un­told dam­age on the homes of the pop­u­la­tion in the area.

He re­called that in June 2007, when Cy­clone Ye­myin hit the coast of Balochis­tan, a mas­sive back­flow of wa­ter oc­curred at the Mi­rani Dam, af­fect­ing the pop­u­la­tion of three union coun­cils. The af­fected per­sons, the chief min­is­ter said, had not yet been duly com­pen­sated in nearly eight years and con­tin­ued to suf­fer.

Re­spond­ing to the Balochis­tan CM’s con­cerns, the fi­nance min­is­ter formed a com­mit­tee headed by the fi­nance sec­re­tary to re­view mat­ters per­tain­ing to pay­ment of com­pen­sa­tion.

The min­is­ter as­sured the chief min­is­ter that he would is­sue im­me­di­ate in­struc­tions for the res­o­lu­tion of all out­stand­ing is­sues and other mat­ters upon the sub­mis­sion of the com­mit­tee’s re­port.

The fi­nance min­is­ter also ap­proved 2.9 bil­lion ru­pees (US$28.5 mil­lion) in­cen­tive grant dis­burse­ment among prov­inces for not spend­ing their al­lo­cated funds to help the fed­eral gov­ern­ment con­trol fis­cal deficit.

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