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ABD to provide loan for Jalalpur irrigation project in Punjab

ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank on Friday signed an agreement with the government of Pakistan to provide a loan worth US$ 274.63 million Jalalpur irrigation project located in Jhelum district of Punjab.

Another loan agreement was also signed for enhancing public-private partnership investments in Punjab amounting to US$ 100 million, as well as DFID grant administered through ADB amounting to US$ 19.6 million.

Secretary Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Syed Ghazanfar Abbas Jilani and Country Director ADB Ms. Xiaohong Yang signed the agreements.

The Jalalpur irrigation project is aimed at building a new, seasonal (April-October) surface irrigation system covering about 68,263 hectares of low-productive, predominantly rain-fed land in two districts of Jhelum and Khushab in Punjab.

The irrigation system, diverting the flows of the Jhelum river, will comprise an intake structure, a 117-km main canal, 23 distributaries and ten minor canals with a combined total length of 210 kilometres with associated structures, and 485 tertiary-level water courses.

The beneficiaries of the project will be the farming communities of around 384,000 people in eighty villages in and around the project area.

The project would enhance growth in agriculture productivity, by increasing the area under cultivation, improving land resources and environment, and better water management on farms.

The project will achieve the outcome in the three phases. The first phase aims to establish Jalalpur irrigation distribution system (JIS), followed by Improving water usage capacity, while the lat phase would improve farm management capacity for enhancing public-private partnership investments in Punjab.

The project will augment the financial resources for Project Development Facility (PDF), Viability Gap Fund (VGF), and enhance the existing public-private partnership framework in Punjab.

The project impact is aligned with private sector investments to increase employment in Punjab. It will increase value for money for viable projects, and augment resources, and strengthen institutional capacity.

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