ISLAMABAD: The Executive Committee of the Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday approved six projects with an estimated cost of Rs1.077 trillion including two mega country-wide projects in health and energy sectors.

Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Ishaq Dar presided over the meeting also attended by Commerce Minister Syed Naveed Qamar, SAPM on Finance Tariq Bajwa, SAPM on Revenue Tariq Mehmood Pasha, Senator Nisar Ahmad Khuhro from Sindh and Himayatullah Khan Advisor Finance Khyber Pakhtu­nkhwa government besides federal secretaries and other senior officers from federal ministries and provincial departments participated in the meeting.

The biggest project of Rs513.167 billion approved by Ecnec related to the health sector for implementation across the country for eradication of polio disease. The meeting formally approved the revised project to be executed by the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination and provincial health departments in collaboration with the World Health Organisation and Unicef titled “Emergency Plan for Polio Eradication to make Pakistan polio-free. The project will be implemented in five years.

Ecnec also approved another mega project of the Ministry of National Food Security & Research titled “Prime Minister’s National Programme for Solarisation of Agriculture Tube Wells” in Punjab, Sindh, KP and Balochistan at Rs377.24bn with a gestation period of three years. Phase-I will consist of Rs90bn including Rs30bn of PSDP and equivalent share by provincial governments as well as beneficiary farmers for 2023-24.

This project is to enhance agricultural productivity through clean and green energy by converting the existing 100,000 tube wells into solar PV systems.

The meeting also approved a project titled “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Rural Investment & Industrial Support Project (RIISP) to be executed by the provincial government in District Bajur, Khyber, Kurram, Mohmand, North Waziristan, Orakzai, South Waziristan, and erstwhile Frontier regions for Rs110.7bn including IDA loan of $300m from World Bank and the KP government share of Rs29.7bn (in kind). The project will be completed in two phases i.e. Phase-I is six years (2023-2029) and Phase-II is also six years (2029-2035).

Ecnec also considered a revised PC-I of the ongoing Sindh Solar Energy Project (SSEP) executed by the provincial government at a revised cost of Rs27.418bn including FEC of Rs24.265bn. The project is to be financed through the World Bank loan i.e. IDA credit of $100m (95.2pc) and $5m by the Sindh government (4.7pc). This ongoing project will improve energy security and fulfil Pakistan’s international commitments on climate change.

The meeting also approved a project of the Ministry of Energy (Power Division) titled Evacuation of Power from 800MW Mohmand Dam HPP to the National Grid (PC-I) at a rationalised cost of Rs14.319bn including FEC of Rs6.318bn. The source of financing for the project is Asian Development Bank. The project will be executed by National Transmission & Despatch Company (NTDC) in Nowshera, Peshawar and Mohmand.

Ecnec also discussed and approved a project of the Ministry of Commu­nications titled “Construction of Lahore Bypass from Kalashah Kaku Exit to KLM to Multan Road near Radio Station (40km) at a rationalised cost of Rs34.446bn without FEC. The project is to be executed by National Highway Authority (NHA). The project is to be financed entirely by the PSDP.

Published in Dawn, July 12th, 2023

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