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The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) on Friday approved 14 projects worth Rs139.4 billion, including Rs108bn for three significant projects related to the areas situated around China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to enhance mobility and ensure socio-economic development.

The CDWP also gave approval to five project costing Rs131bn, which were referred to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) for final approval.

According to details, the CDWP referred rehabilitation of KKH (N-35) between Thakot-Raikot of worth Rs8.5bn to ECNEC.

The project envisages rehabilitation of the 136.4-kilometres-long remaining portion of the existing KKH between Thahkot and Raikot, which was damaged due to monsoon rains and flash floods in 2010.

Another significant project as part of western route of CPEC, which was referred to ECNEC, is expansion and improvement of existing N-50 from Yarak-Sagu-Zhob, including Zhob bypass of worth Rs80.8bn.

The project envisages construction of 210km-long, four-lane highway, starting from Yarik on N-55 to Zhob on N-50 via Sagu, Daraban, Mughal Kot and Manikhuwa, and will help develop the remote areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces.

The CDWP also recommended constructing two-lane highway from Basima to Khuzdar with cost of Rs19.7bn to ECNEC.

The project aims to enhance the mobility of the underdeveloped area of Balochistan's Khuzdar district and will play a vital role in the development of deprived population of the province.

In transport and communication sector, CDWP also approved development and construction of port allied structures in Mullah Band Area Gwadar.

Moreover in energy sector, CDWP approved and referred enhancement in transformation capacity of NTDC system by extension and augmentation of existing grid stations of worth Rs16.5bn with FEC Rs12bn and conversion of existing 220 KV substation at Bund Road, Kala Shah Kaku, Ravi and Nishatabad to GIS technology of worth Rs5.7bn with FEC 3.1 billion to ECNEC.

In physical planning and housing sector, CDWP approved Wash projects in southern districts of KP under RAHA through Pakistan Italian Debt Swap Agreement (PIDSA) worth Rs150 million, construction of Intelligence Bureau (IB) office along with CPEC of worth Rs482m and construction of conference rooms and offices at Prime Minister's House in Islamabad costing Rs298m.

The CDWP approved renovation and rehabilitation of physical infrastructure of 200 educational institutions under Prime Minister Education Sector Reforms Program in ICT, Islamabad with worth Rs2.9bn.

In information technology sector, CDWP approved umbrella PC-1 for private cloud centre FBR and strengthening FBR's capacity in fiscal research and tax policy analysis of worth Rs512m. Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal suggested to develop a mobile application to enable online registration and filing of tax returns.

He further recommended FBR to collaborate with PIDE to enhance research capability and capacity building.

In science and technology sector, CDWP approved acquisition of land for establishment of King Hamad University of Nursing and Allied Sciences in Islamabad by the government of Kingdom of Bahrain with Rs313m.

The CDWP approved feasibility study for sustainable development of Mini dam command area in the Potohar region worth Rs39 million.

It also approved bridging the job market skill gap for general postgraduate degree holders with a budget of Rs393m.

In addition, CDWP issued the concept clearance to strengthen the early warning system of Pakistan Meteorological department with a budget of Rs19bn with FEC 14 billion.