ISLAMABAD: The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) on Monday cleared a total of four development projects costing about Rs210 billion, mostly in the energy sector.
The meeting of the CDWP was presided over by Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar. The meeting formally approved a Rs552.71 million hydropower development programme for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and referred three major projects to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) for formal approval.
Under the current financial powers, the CDWP can itself approve projects costing no more than Rs3bn while the projects of higher estimated costs are approved by Ecnec once the CDWP clears them on technical grounds.
In the energy sector three projects were presented to the meeting. The first energy project ‘500kV High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Transmission System between Tajikistan and Pakistan for Central Asia-South Asia Transmission Interconnection (CASA-1000)’ worth Rs45.989bn was presented by the Power Division.
The CDWP cleared the project on technical basis and recommended to Ecnec for approval. The project envisions transmission of up to 1,300MW of electricity from Tajikistan to Pakistan through Afghanistan in peak summer months. It would also be capable to transmit surplus available capacity in Pakistan to Tajikistan during winter months.
The meeting approved a project of Energy & Power Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa namely ‘Preparation of Advance Facility for proposed World Bank-assisted KP Hydropower Development Project (PC-II)’ worth Rs552.708m, which was approved by CDWP.
Also Balakot Hydropower Project worth Rs85.913bn was cleared and recommended it to Ecnec for formal approval. The project aims at construction of 310MW Balakot hydropower project on Kunhar river, a major tributary of Jhelum river.
In the transport and communication sector, the Sindh government presented Bus Rapid Transport Red Line (BRT) Project worth Rs77.598bn. The meeting also technically cleared the project and referred to Ecnec for consideration. The project envisages construction of metro bus dedicated 29.1km corridors from Numaish to Malir Halt depot and common corridor of 2.4km.
The meeting also gave concept clearance of a proposal of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) project ‘Domestic Resource Mobilisation’ worth $400m.
Speaking on the occasion, the planning minister said that the government had the political will and committed to boosting tax revenue collection by mobilising internal resources. He expressed optimism that the FBR will bring the best policy under the proposal for increasing tax revenue.
The Sindh government also presented concept clearance proposal of ‘Karachi Urban Mobility Project (Yellow Line Bus Rapid Transit)’ worth Rs65.968bn which was also approved.
Published in Dawn, April 16th, 2019