WB provides $150.2m to improve irrigation system in Sindh

Pakistan and World Bank here on Friday signed an agreement of $ 150.2 million under Sindh Water Sector Improvement Project to improve effectiveness and operational efficiency of irrigation system by ensuring safety of canal network in various areas of Sindh province.
The project would be executed by the government of Sindh’s Irrigation and Power department, Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority, Area Water Boards of Ghotki, NARA and Left Bank, and farmer organizations.
The agreement was signed by M. Akram Malik Secretary Economic Affairs Division, Yahya Waliullah, Secretary P&D Department, Government of Sindh and Youspha B. Crooks, Country Director World Bank on behalf of Federal government, government of Sindh and WB respectively.
The objective of the project is to improve the effectiveness and operational efficiency of irrigation system by ensuring safety of canal network in Ghotki, Nara and Left bank areas. It would help ensure deliver due share of water to the farmers at the tail end with adequate drainage.
Speaking on the occasion, Secretary Economic Affairs, M. Akram Malik said that the objective would be achieved by deepening and broadening the already initiated institutional reforms, improving the irrigation system and by enhancing sustainability of the systems through maintenance and cost recoveries.
Speaking on the occasion, World Bank Country Director, Youspha B. Crooks described the agreement as very crucial in terms of rehabilitating the existing canal system to enhance its effectiveness.
He said, this would help irrigate more areas in the province by ensuring proper distribution of water and thereby increase incomes of the people.
The terms and conditions of the US$ 150.2 million credit are standard. It would have maturity period of 35 years having a grace period of 10 years with service charges on the withdrawn balance _ of 1 per cent per annum and the maximum commitment charge rate on the withdrawn financing balance shall be of 1 per cent.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan)