Pakistan receives loan from China for first mass-transit line


LAHORE, Pakistan – Exim Bank of China has given its consent to release a Rs162 billion loan to the Punjab government as part of the country’s first mass-rapid-transit train system that will accommodate 30,000 passengers per hour, according to Dispatch News Desk (DND).

Finally, the Punjab government has successfully managed to receive a loan from the Exim Bank of China that was halted after a protest erupted in Lahore against the 27.1-kilometer-long Orange Line Metro Train project.

On December 21 last year, the federal government and Exim Bank of China signed an agreement under which the bank agreed to provide Rs162 billion as a soft loan for the metro train.

The civil society resorted to carrying out a protest in Lahore against the project, arguing that the project would cause negative environmental impacts, and multiple historical sites would partially or completely be destroyed. However, the provincial government was of the view that it had nothing to do with the environment and the country’s historical heritage would remain preserved.

It was feared that the project might face hurdles in the receiving of the loan by the Exim Bank; however, the Punjab government succeeded to convince the financial institution to act upon it per the agreement reached in December 2015.