LAHORE: In its maiden meeting, the Public-Private Partnership Policy and Monitoring Board (P-PPP&MB) on Tuesday approved projects worth Rs10.60 billion, hoping to give a fresh impetus to development paradigm in the province.

The board that met under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, approved projects, including establishment of a ‘Weaving City’ at M-3 Industrial city (Faisalabad) and Combined Effluent Treatment Plant at Sundar Industrial Estate and Quaid-i-Azam Industrial Estate (Lahore).

The ‘Weaving City’ is aimed at shifting thousands of power looms to this new location from the city, where these units not only create noise pollution, but also pose threat to people’s health.

Similarly, the treatment plant is expected to improve environment and ecosystem through treatment of industrial wastewater and help improve quality of groundwater.

The board also approved Rs88.38 million for hiring Transaction Advisory Services to develop proposals for Dualisation of Sheikhupura-Hafizabad and Chiniot-Pindi Bhattian roads and Lai Expressway, Rawalpindi. The consideration of the bid of Lahore Ring Road (south loop) SL-III (8Km) was also placed and approved at a cost of Rs10.4 billion.

The board members were also apprised of new Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Ordinance under which Punjab PPP Authority has been established to facilitate achieving Punjab Growth Strategy target of seven per cent growth rate, sustainable economic development through PPPs, fostering private investment and enhancing the capacity of financial, capital and engineering markets and industries.

Policy decisions regarding matters related to functioning of the Punjab PPP Authority were also sought from the board.

Those who attended the meeting included board members -- Dr Salman Shah, Advisor to CM, Hashim Jawan Bakth, Minister for Finance, MPAs, chief secretary, P&D Board chairman, senior member Board of Revenue, secretaries, private sector representatives and PPP, P&D Board member.

In his remarks, the chief minister acknowledged the efforts of finance and development minister, chief secretary, P&D Board chairman and secretaries of finance and law & parliamentary affairs for their untiring efforts for the promulgation of PPP Ordinance 2019 in a short span of three months after addressing major institutional, regulatory and legal impediments.

He said the projects executed under the PPP mode would help reduce the financial burden on the government and PPP Ordinance, 2019 provided ‘ease of doing business’ and one-window solution for the PPPs.

“Facilitating the private sector is our top most priority for generating economic growth and job creation,” he added.

Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2019