ISLAMABAD: The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) on Wednesday approved seven development projects worth Rs23 billion and recommended four projects to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) for consideration.

Among these, three projects are worth Rs82.24bn, while the fourth project, Main Line (ML-1), costing $6.7bn, has been recommended to Ecnec for further consideration.

A meeting of the CDWP, presided over Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan, discussed the projects of transport and communication, agriculture and food, education, energy, health, higher education, information technology and physical planning and housing sectors.

The first project — upgrade of Pakistan Railways’ existing ML-1 and establishment of a dry port near Havelian with a cost of $6.7bn — has been recommended to Ecnec for further consideration. The project is proposed to be financed through foreign funding under the CPEC framework agreement.

Recommends $6.7bn ML-1 project to Ecnec for consideration

The second project — construction of Rathoua Haryam bridge across Reservoir Channel on Mirpur Islamgarh Road worth Rs9.239bn — has been forwarded to Ecnec for further consideration.

The third project — construction of Muzaffarabad-Mansehra expressway worth Rs58.079bn — has been recommended to Ecnec for further consideration.

The first phase of the project will be financed through Saudi Fund for Development, while the second phase will cover the remaining project, including a 3.4km-long tunnel and the construction of expressway. The loan will be arranged for balance portion during the first year of the project. A project related to education — establishment of Danish Schools in Azad Jammu and Kashmir worth Rs14.927bn has been recommended to Ecnec for further consideration.

The meeting approved three projects related to higher education after a detailed discussion. These include the establishment of AJK Women University in Bagh worth Rs1.795bn, the provision of academic and research facilities at Air University Islamabad worth Rs2.188bn, and the development of Sindh Madrasatul Islam University Campus at Education City, Malir Karachi, worth Rs2.852bn.

A project related to the health sector — National Health Support Programme, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, worth Rs2.548bn — was also approved by the CDWP forum.

The meeting also approved professional capacity building and extension in agriculture (TVET National Reform Programme) worth Rs6.3bn. The project is proposed to be financed through foreign funding. A project related to information technology — establishment of deep Space Astronomical Observatories in Pakistan worth Rs5.337bn — was also approved.

Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2024

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