ISLAMABAD: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) met on Thursday under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, approved various development projects including water and road infrastructure schemes.
Among others, the meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Division, Khusro Bakhtiar, Advisor to the Prime Minister for Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr Ishrat Hussain, representatives of the provincial governments and senior officials.
According to press statement issued by the Finance Ministry, ECNEC approved Rs.13,260 million Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Human Capital Investment Project (Health Component) to be sponsored and executed by the Department of Health, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and funded by the World Bank – IDA amounting to Rs.13,260 million.
The project envisages improving availability, utilization and quality of primary healthcare facilities in four districts of KPK and would cover local population of about 8.4 million and 500,000 refugee population. The Committee approved the above project with the direction that the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would be responsible for the smooth implementation and working of the project after its completion. The KP Government would ensure viability and sustainability of the proposed project in the long-run.
The ECNEC approved a summary regarding construction of additional 02-lanes and widening/rehabilitation of existing 02-lane carriageway of Shikarpur-Rajanpur section of Indus Highway N-55 to be executed by the National Highway Authority (NHA). The project would be sponsored by the Ministry of Communications and ADB with the total cost of Rs.44,703.890 million including Rs.4470.390 (GOP share) and Rs.40,233.50 (ADB share).
Similarly, another summary was placed before the ECNEC regarding construction of 69 km long (04-lane) Sambrial-Kharian Motorway. It would be a high-speed toll road facility which would start from Sambrial city and end point would be Lahore- Sialkot Motorway. The motorway would be constructed on BOT basis at the total cost of Rs.43,382.552 million.
The project would be sponsored by the Ministry of Communications and executed by the National Highways Authority (NHA).
The committee also approved 10,000 kanal land acquisition for Swat Motorway phase-II to be sponsored by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and executed by Pakhtunkhwa Highway Authority (PKHA) through Federal PSDP equal to RS.20,000 million for construction of about 80 km 04-lane motorway from Chakdara to Fatehpur. The Committee strongly recommended to complete such projects on Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis. It commended that such projects would help promote efficient and safe transportation facilities across the country.
ECNEC approved the Sindh Resilience Project (Irrigation Component) for construction of small dams to address drought prone areas of Sindh including system for improving resilience phase-II in districts of Malir (Karachi), Jamshoro, Thatta, Shaheed Benazirabad, Sukkar, Khairpur, Qambar-Shahdad Kot and Tharparkar in the Province of Sindh. The project would be sponsored and executed by the Irrigation Department, Sindh. The source of funding includes US$ 11.50 million (7.5%) share of Sindh government and US$ 141.51 million (92.5%) loan from the World Bank while the total cost of the project has been estimated at US$ 153.01 million (Rs. 24,493.841 million).
Likewise, ECNEC also approved a Balochistan Integrated Water Resources Management and Development Project (BIWRMDP), sponsored and executed by the Irrigation Department, Balochistan.
The project would increase the agricultural production, generate employment opportunities and develop agro-based industry through Integrated Water Resource Management across 11 districts in the Balochistan province. The proposed project would be funded by the World Bank – IDA (up to 96%) and Balochistan government and Farmer’s share (up to 4%) amounting to Rs. 14,747.74 million in total. The project is expected to be completed in 06 years. The committee approved Basol Dam Project for Balochistan which would be sponsored by the Ministry of Water Resources and executed by the Irrigation Department, Balochistan with a total cost equal to Rs. 18,679.89 million.
ECNEC approved the Nai Gaj Dam Project (2nd revised PC-I) for District Dadu, Sindh Province at the cost of Rs. 46,980.35 million rupees. WAPDA and Irrigation Department, Sindh will be the executing agencies for the proposed project. The main objective of the project is conservation of the available flood flows up to a gross storage capacity of 0.30 MAF and power generation of 4.2 MW. It would also help in irrigation of 56,739 acres along with controlling the soil erosion on the downstream side of the dam. Establishment of 48 MW Jagran Hydropower Station (Phase-II) at District Neelum, AJK was also approved by ECNEC at (a 2nd revised cost) of Rs.11, 372.135 million.
The proiect would be sponsored by the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit- Baltistan and executed by Power Development Organization, AJK. The project is being constructed on the intermediate stretch of Jagran River and will generate annual energy of 212.43 GWh. The “Sindh Resilience Project (PDMA Component)” was approved at the total revised cost of Rs. 15,309.14 million. The Provincial Disaster Management Authority, would be the executing agency for the project.
The proposed project would contribute to overall needs for enhancing resilience to natural disasters including public health emergencies in the Sindh Province as the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the requirement for integrating health services with disaster management. The project is designed to cover 29 districts of Sindh Province and is expected to be completed by 2024-25.
The ECNEC also approved the “Gwadar – Lasbela Livelihood Support Project, Phase-II” (GLLSP-II) to cover all 45 Union Councils in Gwadar and Lasbella districts of Balochistan for community development and fisheries value chain development.
The total cost of the project has been estimated at Rs.12, 328.549 million. The Project would be executed by the Communications & Works Department, Fisheries Department, Planning and Development Department, Balochistan through a dedicated Project Management Unit (PMU). It is expected to be completed in 06 years, the statement added. The Locust Emergency and Food security Project (LEAFS) to respond to food security threats caused by locust in different districts across four Provinces was approved by ECNEC at the total cost of approx. Rs. 31,630.60 million (equivalent to USD 200 million) provided by the World Bank.
The project would strengthen the Department of Plant Protection (DPP) and also enhance the capacity of Provincial Plant Protection Departments. The project is expected to complete in 03 years.
The Greater Karachi Water Supply Scheme (K-IV) 260 MGD (Phase-I) was also approved by ECNEC to provide additional 650 MGD water to meet the demand of Karachi City.
The Karachi Water and Sewerage Board and WAPDA would be the executing agencies for the project.
The total cost of the project has been estimated at Rs. 25,551.77 million, which would be shared on a 50:50 percent basis by the federal government and the government of Sindh respectively, the statement concluded.