ISLAMABAD: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved on Thursday 12 development projects with an estimated cost of over Rs440 billion, including Rs310bn for the Karachi-Lahore motorway.
Presiding over a meeting of the council, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar asked the departments concerned to devise a mechanism to complete the projects on time because delays resulted in considerable increase in their cost.
The meeting asked the Planning Commission to monitor progress of the projects envisaged and said evaluation of PC-4s (project completion certificates) should be a regular exercise to make improvement in the system for better results.
Ecnec approved the Karachi-Multan-Lahore motorway (KLM) project and 387km Sukkur-Multan section at a rationalised cost of Rs259.353bn. Ten per cent cost of the project will come from the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) and the rest from credit financing by the Chinese government.
The project will be completed by October 2017 by the National Highway Authority. It envisages construction of six-lane Sukkur-Multan section of the 1148km KLM, including building of bridges, interchanges, nullahs, etc.
Ecnec also approved a project for land acquisition, compensation of affected properties and relocation of utilities for the motorway at a rationalised cost of Rs51bn.
The meeting approved a Rs5.146bn plan for raising the Balochistan Constabulary, with a foreign financing of Rs200 million. Its objective is to assist police and the district administration in maintaining law and order in the province by recruiting 6,000 additional personnel and merging 4,000 reserved police to make 10,000-man strong Balochistan Constabulary.
The committee approved a flood emergency reconstruction project for bunds and canals (revised PC-I) at a cost of Rs26.905bn, with foreign exchange component of Rs19.279bn by the Asian Development Bank and the local component by the Sindh government.
The project envisages strengthening the entire length of banks of Indus in general and at Tori, SM Bund and FP Bund at Mancher lake damaged by the 2010 floods.
Ecnec approved a project for wind power plants at Jhimpir and Gharo wind clusters located in Thatta and Jamshoro in Sindh at a modified cost of Rs11.277bn. The project to be completed in three years will take 1,756MW of wind power from the two sites after construction of 220KV and 132KV double circuit transmission lines.
The meeting approved acquisition of land for setting up a free trade zone in Gwadar at a revised cost of Rs6.499bn. It envisages acquisition of 2,281 acres of land for the zone of which 1627 acres from land owners.
It approved the widening and improvement of 250km section of Kalat-Quetta-Chaman road of National Highway N-25 at a revised cost of Rs19.140bn, with foreign exchange component of Rs13.920bn from USAID as grant.
Ecnec approved 59.1km Hasanabdal (Burhan)-Havelian expressway (E-35) to be built at a revised cost of Rs30.494bn, including Rs7.592bn foreign exchange component.
The meeting approved establishment of information technology management sciences and telecommunication institutes in Islamabad at a revised cost of Rs3.938bn, with foreign exchange component of Rs613m. The project will be sponsored by the Higher Education Commission and executed by National University of Science and Technology, Islamabad.
Ecnec approved the prime minister’s (national) programme for providing laptops to talented students at a revised cost of Rs4.928bn. Under the project, 100,000 laptops will be distributed this year among students of public sector higher education institutes across the country.
The meeting approved rehabilitation and up-gradation of Trimmu barrage and Panjnad headwork (ADB assisted) at a cost of Rs16.8bn, including an ADB loan of Rs14.9bn.
It approved dualisation and improvement of 64km Mandra-Chakwal road at a revised cost of Rs4.671bn. The project envisages construction of dual-way two-lane carriageway between Mandra and Chakwal.
Published in Dawn, July 4th, 2014