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World Bank interested in providing $192m

Karachi: Officials of the Planning and Development Department said the World Bank is interested in providing financial aid of up to $192 million to improve the earthen watercourses during a meeting held at the Chief Minister House on Monday, adding that negotiations were underway.

Chairing the meeting, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah said the Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority (SIDA) needed to be revamped and re-organized to enhance its capacity and to ensure its performance up to growers’ expectations.

The chief minister constituted a committee, headed by Additional Chief Secretary Development with Secretary Irrigation, Managing Director SIDA and a representative from Sindh Chamber of Agri-Culture, to discuss, deliberate, and collect ideas and expertise before submitting proposals within two weeks.

The chief minister said that the Sindh government places importance on the irrigation sector and, as such, an annual Rs12 billion has been allocated for development works, while Rs35 million is provided to SIDA for its operational activities per year. He said the benefits of such a huge amount must reach the final consumers.

Addition Chief Secretary, Arif Ahmed Khan, said that keeping in view future requirements, another project that would be aimed to improve and line the 5,000 water earthen courses was being conceived.

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