ISLAMABAD, Oct 8 (APP):The Minister for Economic Affairs, Makhdum Khusro Bakhtiar on Thursday appreciated that Japan is a long term friend and one of the major development partner of Pakistan.
The Minister said this while chairing a high-level Portfolio Review Meeting with the Government of Japan regarding Japanese funded projects in Pakistan, said a press release issued by Ministry of Economic Affairs here.
The meeting was attended by Shigeki Furuta the Chief, JICA Pakistan Office and Senior Officials from the Embassy of Japan and relevant stakeholders.
The Japan’s assistance to Pakistan since 1954 is US$ 12.6 billion and Pakistan is the largest recipient of Japanese Grant Assistance amongst South Asian Countries.
The Japan’s ongoing portfolio in Pakistan is worth 608.69 million dollars for 57 projects.
The objective of the portfolio review meeting was to assess the progress of ongoing Japan-funded projects, discuss implementation issues and suggest remedial measures.
Moreover, pipeline projects were also discussed to ensure their alignment with national priorities, readiness and timely approval of PC-Is/IIs.
Projects like Installation of Weather Surveillance Radar in Multan City, East-West Road Improvement Project (N-70), Project for Security Improvement in Port Karachi and Port Bin Qasim, Islamabad and Burhan Transmission Line Reinforcement Project (PK – P65), the Project for Improvement of Water Treatment Plant and Water Distribution System in Faisalabad and the project for Establishment of Maternal and Child Health Center at Liaquat University Hospital, Jamshoro were discussed at length.
The trilateral meeting agreed on a road map to fast track implementation and address project by project issues.
The Minister for Economic Affairs stressed the need for streamlining the problematic projects for earliest resolution.
He emphasized that Counter Value Fund may be utilized to finance Karachi Transformation Plan and in this regard Embassy of Japan, JICA, NDMA and M/o Economic Affairs should sit together to devise a short term viable strategy.
The minister appreciated Japanese Assistance for Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad by providing machinery and equipments for sewerage, waste water and solid waste management and proposed the Government of Japan for similar support to Karachi Metropolitan City and other cities.
The Minister for Economic Affairs highlighted the government priorities specifically with reference to Karachi Transformation Plan and disaster management support for vulnerable areas.
He further stressed upon the participants the need for concentrated efforts to achieve the desired targets and directed the concerned authorities to remove the bottlenecks to ensure smooth implementation of the development projects.