'Friends' ask Pak to ensure transparency in utilisation of flood-aid

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Islamabad, Oct 15 (ANI): At the ongoing meeting of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FoDP) in Brussels, the international community has asked Islamabad to involve renowned experts in the bidding and implementation of flood-related reconstruction projects to ensure transparency and effective utilisation of funds.

"The international community wants that the money is used well... We have proposed involvement of national and international experts in the bidding and contract award process to start reconstruction quickly," the Dawn quoted Juan Miranda, the Asian Development Bank's Director-General for Central and West Asia, as saying.

"The best way to award contracts for reconstruction is to engage independent experts and there is no disagreement on this between the World Bank and ADB and the government," he added.

In a telephone interview from Brussels, Miranda disclosed that the lenders had proposed that either the government agencies engage experts to prepare paperwork, commission contracts and sign agreements with monitoring by lending agencies or "we can engage experts and prepare paperwork and then assist the government agencies in project management."

He also said that there were certain well-established procurement rules through which bidding documents could be prepared, adding that the group wanted to "assist and not take away" the government's responsibility.

"Our objective is to assist and not to take away the government's implementation responsibility. This is important because all the stakeholders want the reconstruction to start sooner and to ensure transparent and efficient use of funds specifically for the purpose they are allocated," he noted. (ANI)

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