IIBC refuses to fund Pindi Ring Road

Chinese bank raises reservations on linking dual carriageway with motorway

Jameel Mirza June 19, 2020

RAWALPINDI: In an unexpected development, the Infrastructure Investment Bank of China (IIBC) has refused funding for the Rawalpindi Ring Road project as its objection remained unaddressed.

The bank had expressed reservations on linking dual carriageway with the motorway while the apex development body, Rawalpindi Development Authority, had maintained that the project would become worthless if it refrained from doing so at the behest of the bank.

As an offset, the Punjab government has allocated Rs30 million for the preparation of Project Concept-II (PC-II) of the scheme along with the establishment of its project management unit (PMU) in the budget 2020-21.

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However, the total expenses in this regard have been estimated to be around Rs85 million. Therefore, as the bank has refused to disburse funds, the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) has now decided to complete the project under the public-private partnership (PPP).

Meanwhile, the Punjab government has not earmarked any amount for land acquisition for the Ring Road project. However, for this purpose, sources said that the government might utilise funds for acquiring land for the mega project from the funds earmarked for block allocation. RDA Chairman Tariq Mehmood Murtaza confirmed that the IIBC has refused to give a loan as he spoke to The Express Tribune on Thursday.

Explaining the possible reason behind it, the official said that the investment bank had raised objection on linking the signal-free corridor with the motorway. He asserted that if it was agreed, the project would have become meaningless.

Further, the RDA chief said that all vacant seats in the authority would be filled soon.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2020.


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