Ecnec approves projects worth Rs119bn

Updated October 03, 2019

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The meeting was presided over by the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh. — APP/File
The meeting was presided over by the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Wednesday decided to transfer to the federal secretaries funds allocated for each approved project at the beginning of every quarter and approved Rs199 billion worth of seven development projects.

The meeting presided over by the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh approved a fresh mechanism under public finance management for simplification of process for release of funds for development projects.

Under the revised mechanism, the project-wise funds (Rupee component) allocated in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) to the ongoing approved projects would be released to the ministries and divisions during the first week of each quarter as per the criteria of the finance division. As such, 20 per cent funds would be at the disposal of ministries and divisions for first and second quarter each and 30pc for third and fourth quarter, without originating demand by the federal secretaries/principal accounting officers.

Under the existing mechanism, the ministries have to file request for release of funds for each project that goes through the ministries of planning and finance.

Ecnec approved construction of Karachi Urban Mobility Project (Yellow Bus Rapid Transit-BRT Corridor), to be mainly funded by the World Bank and executed by the Sindh government at a cost of Rs61.439bn.

The corridor will cover a distance of 21km from Korangi Industrial Area to Kashmir Road intersection where it will integrate with another corridor.

The meeting also approved formation of a coordination committee between the federal government and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government for overview and fiscal discipline to ensure construction of Peshawar-Torkham Motorway.

Ecnec also approved the first component-1 of the Khyber Pass Economic Corridor at a rationalised cost of Rs36.705bn ($231.10 million) with the World Bank share of Rs34.503bn ($217.24m) based on preliminary design.

The firmed up cost of the project will be available after the receipt of bids on design-build-operate/engineer-procure-construct basis for which the Planning Commission will develop guidelines/standard operating procedures and other mechanisms. The meeting also approved the component-II of the Economic Development and Uplift of Areas Adjoining the Motorway project.

Ecnec also approved the project for the interlinking of 220kV Daharki, Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur and Chishtian grid stations for improvement of power supply system in the parts of the southern region of the country at an updated cost of Rs15.795bn.

According to its documents, the project will ensure ‘uninterrupted power supply’ to Hyderabad and Multan electric supply companies while the interlinking of R.Y. Khan Grid Station to Daharki through 220kV transmission line will provide backup link between Multan, Guddu and Shikarpur.

Published in Dawn, October 3rd, 2019