ISLAMABAD: The Exe­cutive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Wednesday approved four development projects in Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with a total estimated cost of Rs120.185bn.

Presided over by Fina­nce Minister Ishaq Dar, the meeting of the committee was also attended by Minister for Planning and Develop­ment Ahsan Iqbal, SAPM on Finance Tariq Bajwa, Senator Nisar Ahmed Khuhro from Sindh and federal secretaries and other senior officers from federal ministries and provincial governments.

The Ecnec approved a project of the AJK government to be executed by the Power Development Orga­ni­sation for the establishment of a 48-megawatt Shounter Hydropower Project in Neelam Valley District at an updated cost of Rs14.985bn including a foreign exchange component (FEC) of Rs12.737bn.

The project is to be fina­nced 85pc from the Saudi Fund for Develop­ment (SFD) and 15pc of the cost will be met through AJK’s annual development plan.

The meeting also approved in principle a project of the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and GB for the Establishment of Regional Grids in Gilgit-Baltistan Phase-I in Astore, Gilgit, Hunza, and Skardu Districts in GB at the revised cost of Rs17.425bn with FEC of Rs1.824bn.

The Ecnec also approved another project of the Gil­git Baltistan government to be executed by the Water & Power Depart­ment Gilgit-Baltistan of 26MW Shagh­arthang Hydro­­power Pro­ject in District Skardu at the revised cost of Rs18.374bn including FEC of Rs4.461bn.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Rural Accessibility Project to be executed by the KP’s Communications and Works Department was also approved by the Ecnec for Rs69.4bn including foreign aid/loan of Rs67.2bn to be provided by the World Bank and local component to be funded by the provincial government.

Published in Dawn, June 1st, 2023

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