The World Bank has cancelled or withheld a $335 million concessionary loan quota for Pakistan after Islamabad failed to empower the debt office and could not harmonise sales tax and property valuation procedures. The Washington-based lender’s decision has put a question mark over the ability of Pakistani policymakers and bureaucrats, who have not been able to take corrective measures and lost claim over the cheaper loans. Official documents showed that the World Bank cancelled an allocation of $188 million for Pakistan for the just-ended fiscal year, The Express Tribune reported. The lender withheld another $147 million quota that it otherwise would have allocated in the new fiscal year, had Pakistan been able to meet the agreed conditions, according to the documents. The development has taken place at a time when the country is not able to access the international capital markets and the foreign commercial banks for getting loans due to the deteriorating economic conditions. In such conditions, the lender cancelled the loans that carried only 2 per cent interest rate and had a 30-year repayment period.
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