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Loans for development

Loans for development

According to experts, it is still debatable if the government should continue to accept foreign loans in a situation where the country is heading fast toward debt crisis. In the absence of real economic growth and ever-growing population, the cash-starve government has to look toward international lending agencies to launch public welfare projects. The people need houses, cloths, food, water and of course electricity. Pakistan has been facing energy crisis for the last four decades and every successive government has so far failed to fulfill the energy needs of the nation. The crisis, which started two decades ago, still persist and the requirement of electricity has increased three fold since then. The bureaucracy, which is responsible for administrative affairs of the country, still adhered itself to the colonial mindset and could not come out of the spell of a slave nation. Probably the bureaucracy lacks vision and potential to act in time or needs capacity building programmes to break their age-old monotony. If corruption is a growing menace allegedly within the official hierarchy, lethargy is even a bigger evil within the administrative machinery and a big hurdle in the way of development.

The case of $900 million loan, approved by the Asian Development Bank four years ago, is a tip of the iceberg as how official rigmarole spoils the projects of national importance. Apart from $900 million loan, the country had also persuaded the Islamic Development Bank for $220 million loan, bringing the total cost of the project to $1.5 billion.The loan was approved despite opposition from the United States, but the money has yet to be disbursed.The loan was approved in December 2013 to construct a 660 megawatt coal-fired power plant at Jamshoro and turn an oil-based 660 megawatt power plant to supercritical coal technology. However, only $10 million have so far been disbursed and inordinate delay will only increase the cost of the project. According to reports, the project was expected to come into operational mode in April 2019, but the lack of interest has sent the project in limbo. The pathetic part of the situation is that the country has been paying 0.15 percent of the total amount as commitment charges on undisbursed amount since November 2014.In the absence of a chick and balance, this kind of anomaly is a common practice. God knows how long the nation has to wait fora visionary leadership.