ISLAMABAD: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday approved a total of eight development projects involving an estimated cost of Rs291 billion mainly in the water and road sectors.
The meeting of the Ecnec presided over by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was also attended by federal ministers for planning and commerce, Senator Nisar Khoro from Sindh besides federal secretaries and provincial representatives.
The meeting approved a Flood Protection Sector Project-III (FPSP-II) at an updated cost of Rs194.625bn including a foreign exchange component of Rs10.86bn. The project recommended by the Ministry of Water Resources will be executed in all four provinces and Gilgit Baltistan and AJK as well. The project is to be financed through federal and provincial components and donor financing.
Ecnec also approved the Ministry of Water Resources’ Makhi Farash Link Canal Project (Chotiari Phase-II) to be executed by the Irrigation Department of Sindh for water supply to Thar Coal in districts Sanghar and Umerkot at the revised cost of Rs12.087bn. The project has been prepared to carry 200 cusecs of canal water for electricity generation and agro-industrial growth.
Similarly, the Kachhi Canal Project Restoration of Flood Damages 2022 was also approved by the Ecnec at a cost of Rs8.28bn to be executed in Punjab’s districts of Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh, and Rajanpur by the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda). The project is related to the issue of water scarcity and the protection of infrastructure from the onslaught of floods.
Ecnec also discussed the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s New Balakot City Development Project for Rs12bn. The meeting directed the stakeholders to re-examine and remove technical and financial discrepancies in the project.
The meeting also approved a Rs8.583bn National Multi-sectoral Nutrition Programme to reduce stunting and other forms of malnutrition” to be executed in 36 high-burden districts of the country.
The meeting approved the extension/construction of 36km Sindh Coastal Highway for Rs16.204bn. The project is to be executed by the Government of Sindh and to be funded through Federal PSDP. This was one of the projects on which the provincial government and coalition partners in the federal government — PPP — had raised a political debate ahead of the passage of the federal budget 2023-24.
In the road sector, Ecnec approved the construction of the Lahore Sialkot Motorway (LSM) link highway (four-lane) connecting LSM to Narang Mandi and Narowal (73km) at the revised rationalised cost of Rs36.8bn without any external financing on 50:50 cost-sharing basis by the federal and provincial governments.
Improvement of the road from Sanghar to National Highway (N-5), at Point Rohri via Mundh Jamrao and Salehput (221km) was also approved at the updated rationalised cost of Rs12.522bn on a 50:50 cost-sharing basis between the federal and provincial governments.
Published in Dawn, June 28th, 2023