43pc foreign-funded projects found to be ‘problematic’

The Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Thursday that 43 per cent of about $35 billion worth of foreign-funded projects were problematic — either not progressing well or unable to deliver the desired outcomes.

At a review meeting of the National Coordination Committee on foreign-funded projects, the ministry reported that it was managing an ongoing portfolio of $34.8bn such projects of various sectors of the economy. “Out of the total portfolio, $15bn (43pc) is considered as problematic,” it added.

On top of that, the meeting was informed that the “share of federal energy projects is about $3.3bn, of which $2.3bn (or almost 70pc) is rated as problematic”, an official statement said.

No wonder then, the energy sector is emerging as a challenge to the country’s stability, an official said, referring to over 17pc losses and 10pc short recoveries in the power sector and 10-17pc system losses in the gas sector.

Minister for Economic Affairs Sardar Ayaz Sadiq presided over the meeting which was also attended by the relevant ministers and representatives of provincial governments, besides the heads of implementing agencies.

The minister deplored the prevailing situation of energy sector projects given their importance and impact on overall economy and the public at large. He said energy was arguably one of the most important inputs for economic growth to sustain industrial and commercial activities, but it was emerging as a challenge.

The minister stressed the need for addressing the issue of problematic projects on an urgent basis, especially those facing chronic delays so as to pace up disbursements and progress.

The meeting decided to set milestones and deliverables with timelines by the focal ministries and implementing agencies for better monitoring and preventing time and cost overruns.

Economic Affairs Secretary Mian Asad Hayauddin proposed regular follow-up monthly meetings by the focal ministries with executing agencies and stakeholders for due monitoring and prompt resolution of issues.

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