Pakistan, Italy extend debt swap pact timeline


ISLAMABAD: Pakis­tan and Italy have reached an agreement to extend the timeline of the Pakistan-Italian Debt Swap Agreement (PIDSA) till December next year.

To this effect, an ‘Exchange of Letters’ was signed by Italian Ambassador Andreas Ferrarese and Economic Affairs Division Secretary Dr Kazim Niaz here on Thursday.

Procedures, modalities, terms, and conditions as defined in the agreement signed in November 2006 between the two countries remained the same, said a press release issued by the Economic Affairs Division.

During the extension period, the remaining activities of PIDSA will be completed, including cancellation of the remaining debt, completion of the ongoing projects, handing and taking over of assets, and impact evaluation and final report of the PIDSA programme.

The agreement for development swap signed by the two countries in November 2006 came into effect in 2009, under which about $100 million ($26.52m) equivalent to Rs8.276 billion of Pakistan’s debt owed to Italy is to be swapped for expenditure on development projects across the country on health, education, agriculture, environment, microcredit schemes, poverty alleviation, rural development and infrastructure.

To date, 48 projects have been approved and funded by PIDSA, out of which 45 schemes have been completed and three are in progress.