PAKISTAN: Consortium to give $2,300 million

18 March 1994

Donors and multilateral agencies will give the government about $2,300 million in aid in the next financial year, they indicated at a Pakistan Consortium meeting in Paris on 24-25 February. The level of aid pledged was broadly in line with the government's expectations (MEED 4:3:94).

No details were available on what the aid would be spent on, but the consortium urged the government to continue economic liberalisation, reduce the budget deficit, and improve its use of aid money. Financial adviser to the Prime Minister VA Jaffery outlined the government's priority needs for aid:

Energy. In mid-February, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto announced a five- year energy plan, which calls for the investment of Rs 700,000 million ($23,100 million) for electricity generation and oil and gas exploration. The plan emphasises measures to attract private-sector involvement.

Social action programme. Aimed at improving coverage, quality and effectiveness of primary education, nutrition, basic health, social welfare, rural water and sanitation facilities, the programme has been dogged by inadequate funds and weak implementation. Non-governmental organisations are to be encouraged to become involved in the plan and Rs 17,300 million ($570 million) has been allocated to the programme for the current financial year, beginning 1 July 1993.

Agriculture. The aim is to increase productivity. Rehabilitating drainage and irrigation facilities will be an important part of the policy.

Environment. The government is to initiate a national conservation strategy with the eighth five-year plan (1994-98). The programme, which has been allocated Rs 19,200 million ($633 million) over the plan, is aimed at managing pollution, developing institutions to estimate environmental damage and formulate solutions, and provide education and training on environmental issues.

Drug control. The government appealed to donors for funds for a programme to reduce poppy growth and heroin production. The plan includes a stricter and stronger legal framework to punish drug dealers, a crop substitution programme in the North West Frontier Province, and an education programme aimed at students and women.

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