Ecnec approves seven projects worth Rs253bn

Published February 8, 2024
Caretaker Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar presided over a meeting of the xecutive Committee of the National Economic Council on Wednesday. — PID
Caretaker Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar presided over a meeting of the xecutive Committee of the National Economic Council on Wednesday. — PID

ISLAMABAD: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Wednesday approved seven development projects costing over Rs253 billion including a water sector project strongly opposed by the Sindh government.

Caretaker Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar who presided over the meeting asked the Sindh government to agitate its reservations before the Council of Common Interests (CCI) over the issue of water shares that the lower riparian provinces believed would be compromised by the Greater Thal Canal (Phase-II).

“Ecnec directed the Government of Sindh to present its views regarding techno-economic viability of Greater Thal Canal (Phase II) project to CCI and gave approval of Greater Thal Canal (Phase II) project subject to approval of CCI,” an official statement said.

The meeting also approved the continuation of the “Sehat Sahulat Programme (3rd revised)” project worth Rs32bn till June 30 with the provision of assistance only to the population below the poverty line (less than 32.5 Proxy Means Test score). The meeting also approved the “Establ­ishment of Infectious Disease Laboratory (IDL)” at an estimated cost of Rs8.3bn owing to the advanced level laboratory for handling pathogens and R&D for indigenous viruses and bacteria after Covid-19.

Ecnec also approved an Asian Development Bank-funded Rs105.45bn project for “The Khyber Pakht­unkhwa Rural Roads Development Project” to facilitate impr­oved rural accessibility, and connectivity and unlocking the economic and development opportunities for inhabitants of KP province.

The Ecnec also approved “Construction of Additional Carriageway of Torkham-Jalalabad Road Project” in Afgha­nistan at the total cost of Rs17.141bn and directed that the project should be completed within this fiscal year.

The project would, after completion, be operated and maintained by the Afghanistan government through its resources.

The revised project for the “Installation of a Telemetry System for Real-Time Discharge Monit­oring at 27 Key Sites on Indus Basin Irrigation System (IBIS)” was also approved by Ecnec at an estim­ated cost of Rs23.­835bn that was cleared by the central development working party only a day earlier.

Another summary of the Ministry of Planning Development and Special Initiatives regarding the “Peshawar Northern Bypass Project (PNBP) — 32.2km (3rd Revised)” was also approved by Ecnec at an estimated cost of more than Rs27bn with the direction to complete before ending of this fiscal year.

Published in Dawn, February 8th, 2024

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