Energy and transport sectors remained the largest recipients of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) financing in 2017 in Tajikistan, accounting for 48.3% and 31.7%, respectively, of all projects under implementation, according to the findings presented during the annual country operations review by ADB and the Government of Tajikistan.

The review meeting, which was held in Dushanbe on February 22 and attended by government officials, project implementation units, and ADB staff, assessed the performance of projects funded by ADB in the country over the past 12 months.

Participants agreed that performance of all ADB-funded projects last year remained satisfactory.

“ADB appreciates the government’s strong ownership of our joint operations,” said Pradeep Srivastava, ADB Country Director for Tajikistan, who jointly chaired the meeting together with Farrukh Hamralizoda, Chairman of the State Committee on Investments and State Property Management.  “Tajikistan has one of the best performing portfolios across ADB, and maintaining this good performance is very critical.”

The meeting also discussed common issues affecting projects, with participants agreeing on implementing concrete actions to address those.  One of the issues includes the need for ADB and the government to address pending taxation issues faced by projects, causing delays in award and execution of contracts which may have adverse impacts on project implementation in future.

Recall, former ADB Country Director for Tajikistan, Mr. C. C. Yu noted in March last year that one of major problems he faced during his tenure as ADB Country Director for Tajikistan were tax levies.

“Under the agreement between the Bank and the Government of Tajikistan, all our projects in Tajikistan should be exempted from paying any taxes.  But misunderstandings were arising on this subject with the Tax Committee.  Finally, we have been solving those problems with the help of Mr. Davlatali Said, First Deputy Prime Minister and ADB Governor for Tajikistan.  However, these problems have been recurring and we must work on solving them,” Mr. C. C. Yu told Asia-Plus in an interview at the end of his tenure to Tajikistan.  

ADB’s ongoing portfolio in Tajikistan in 2017 included 13 projects and one program amounting to $759 million, financed from 17 grants ($643 million) and four loans ($116 million). Apart from energy and transport, ADB financing also focused on public sector management (6.7%); agriculture, natural resources, and rural development (6.6%); education (4.2%); and finance (2.5%). There were also 7 technical assistance grants totaling $13 million.

ADB is celebrating 20 years of development partnership with Tajikistan in 2018. To date, ADB has approved over $1.5 billion in concessional loans, grants, and technical assistance to the country. ADB and Tajikistan’s development partnership, which began in 1998, has restored and built the country’s new transport and energy infrastructure, supported social development, expanded agricultural production, and improved regional cooperation and trade.