The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has denied the claim of Pakistani officials regarding the provision of 3.4 billion USD for budgetary support. The claim was first announced by Minister for Planning and Development Khusro Bakhtiar, and later it was confirmed by the Finance Adviser Abdul Hafeez Sheikh via tweet, stating DB to give $3.4 billion in #budgetary support. I had a meeting with Mr. Werner Liepach, DG ADB today to agree on the #ADB program. The ADB will provide $3.4 billion in budgetary support to help with #reforms and stabilization of the #economy”.
The country office of the bank issued a rebuke on Sunday, denying the claims of officials for 3.4 billion USD aid from a Manila-based lending agency. It is very rare to witness such kind of statement from the bank.
Country Director of ADB for Pakistan, Xiaohong Yang further stated that “These discussions are ongoing and details of the plans as well as the volume of ADB’s financial support, once finalized, will be contingent upon the approval of ADB management and its Board of Directors,”
The Bank further explained in a statement that, “discussing with the GoP plans to provide budget support programs, results-based and project assistance to help improve Pakistan’s competitiveness and fiscal sustainability. ADB is pleased with the progress of discussions with the government of Pakistan on these issues,”
While Pakistan is desperately seeking funds from multilateral lenders to ease out the balance of payment deficit, the Bank is likely to grant the monetary support subject to the IMF’s bail-out package of 6 billion USD. President of ADB Takehiko Nakao commented on the situation that, “We are waiting for a good outcome of discussions on an IMF program and if the IMF program is where we would be happy to extend the budget support and other policy loans quite soon,”
According to resources, the representatives of the bank who visited Pakistan had no major agenda for discussion, neither were they authorized to finalize any loan program. Furthermore, the premature announcement from local authorities was also awkward.