ISLAMABAD: The Nawaz Sharif government has decided to launch a development fund, the Pakistan Development Fund (PDF), with an aim to lure friendly countries to provide assistance to Islamabad in exchange for executing infrastructure development projects.
“Our initiative is totally different from the PPP’s Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FODP) as this government has decided to give PDF an institutional framework in which transparency would be ensured at all costs,” said a PML-N leader.
He went on to add that a separate account would be established at the SBP to receive inflows from friendly countries. “We have already started receiving dollar inflows that have led to the rise of the rupee against US dollar,” said the official.
In the aftermath of the $6.67bn IMF agreement, Pakistan’s balance of payments difficulties continued in the wake of outflows for repaying the IMF’s previous loans.
In order to overcome this crisis, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar took the initiative to establish PDF and convinced friendly countries to come forward and assist Pakistan in this difficult hour.
Two friendly countries have already conveyed their full-fledged assistance to Islamabad and Pakistan has received its first instalment on this account, sources said.
Dar said that this initiative would help execute development projects with the assistance of friendly countries. A corporate institutional framework will be put in place to ensure the transparent utilisation of funds.
Sources went on to add that the government is identifying crucial projects which would be financed with the help of the PDF initiative. Further, sources added, friendly countries had given positive indications to Islamabad for helping keeping in view the credibility being currently enjoyed by the government.
“Pakistan’s foreign currency reserves would touch $10bn by end of the ongoing month as the US had given assurances to the government for releasing the next instalment of Coalition Support Fund (CSF) in the next two weeks,” another source said, adding that the IMF’s executive board would also likely approve the next tranche worth $540m within this month. INTERNEWS