LAHORE: The Asian Development Bank and Department for International Development (DFID) UK have committed to provide $ 123 million for enhancing Public Private Partnership in Punjab and capacity building of various departments.

A senior economist of Planning and Development board Agha Waqar Javed, said here on Friday that the Punjab Government has joined hands with Asian Development Bank (ADB) to enhance PPPs in Punjab and signed a five year (2018-2022) US dollar 100 million programme.

Under this program, ADB would provide funding towards Viability Gap Fund (VGF) and Project Development Facility (PDF). The program is further augmented by an additional USD 23.6 million DFID grant which will contribute towards capacity building of various departments as well as VGF and PDF. The project aims to enhance private sector investments and increase employment opportunities in Punjab.

The Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). Board of P&D held a 3-day consultative workshop organized by ADB to discuss the scope of PPPs and formulate an overall strategy for implementation and recommendations for future assistance to be provided to Pakistan by ADB.

The workshop was attended by over 100 delegates including Chairman P&D Board Punjab, senior government officials, economists, planners from federal and four provincial governments, and ADB staff.

Agha Waqar Javed reiterated that Punjab Government is committed to bringing sustainable economic growth by harnessing potential of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). PPP policy should be enshrined in the economic growth policy where by PPPs be recognized as one of the main drivers for growth, Javed said that in the current development paradigm, governments are focusing more on PPPs to uplift the economy and meet growing infrastructure needs.

He apprised that enormous potential for successful PPPs exists in Punjab as legal and institutional framework is in place. Punjab already has undertaken several flagship projects under PPP mode.

But there is an utmost need to connect the missing links for harmonizing the PPPs potential. He also emphasized importance of building and continuously improving public and private sector institutional capacity on PPPs.