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[July 04, 2014]
ECNEC approves Rs 440 billion social sector development projects
(Baluchistan Express, The Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) here on Thursday approved various projects of social sector development worth Rs 440 billion, including Karachi-Multan-Lahore Motorway.
The ECNEC, which met here with Minister for Finance, Mohammad Ishaq Dar in chair, approved Karachi-Multan-Lahore Motorway project and construction of 387 km Sukkur-Multan section with a rationalized cost of Rs 259.353 billion.
Ten percent cost of project will come from PSDP and ninety percent of total cost as credit financing through Government of China. The project will be completed by October 2017 and executing agency is NHA.
The project envisages construction of 387 km long, six-lane, Sukkur-Multan section of 1148 km Karachi-Lahore Motorway including construction of bridges, interchanges, nullahs etc.
The ECNEC also approved the project for Land Acquisition, Affected Properties Compensation and Relocation of Utilities for Construction of 959 km Karachi-Lahore Motorway with a rationalized cost of Rs 51 billion.
The committee approved Raising of Balochistan Constabulary project at a rationalized cost of Rs 5.146 billion with FEC of Rs 200 million.
The project aims to assist police and district administration in maintenance of law and order in Balochistan by recruiting 6,000 additional force and merging 4,000 reserve police personnel to make 10,000 strong force of Balochistan Constabulary.
The meeting also approved Flood Emergency Reconstruction Project for Bunds and Canals (Revised-PC-I) at a cost of Rs 26.905 billion with financial aid of Rs 19.279 billion by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the local component by the Government of Sindh.
The project envisages strengthening of entire length of banks of river Indus in general and at Tori, SM Bund and FP Bund at Manchhar Lake, which was damaged by the unprecedented floods of 2010.
The ECNEC also considered and approved the project for Evacuation of Power from Wind Power Plants at Jhimpir and Gharo Wind Clusters located in district Thatta and Jamshoro in Sindh with a modified cost of Rs 11.277 billion.
The project will be completed in three years and it envisages evacuation of 1756 MW of wind power from the two sites through construction of 220 KV and 132 KV double circuits' transmission lines.
The ECNEC also approved acquisition of land for establishment of Free Trade Zone at Gwadar with a rationalized cost of Rs 6.499 billion. The project envisages acquisition of 2281 acres of land for establishment of free trade zone at Gwadar Port, out of which 1627 acres of land would be acquired from private land owners.
The ECNEC approved the widening and improvement of 250 km of Kalat-Quetta: Chaman Road Section of National Highway N-25 with a revised cost of Rs 19.140 billion with foreign exchange component (FEC) of Rs13.920 billion coming as a USAID grant.
The meeting also approved Hasanabdal (Burhan)-Havelian Expressway (E-35, total length 59.1 km) with a rationalized cost of Rs 30.494 billion including FEC of Rs.7.592 billion.
ECNEC approved Establishment of Information Technology Management Sciences and Telecommunication Institutes at Islamabad at a revised cost of Rs 3.938 billion with FEC of Rs 613 million.
The sponsoring agency is Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the executing agency is National University of Science and Technology, Islamabad.
The ECNEC principally approved the Prime Minister's (National) Programme for Provision of Laptops to talented students (HEC) with a rationalized cost of Rs 4.928 billion.
It is envisaged that during this year 100,000 computer laptops would be distributed amongst the young and bright students studying at any public sector higher education institute across the country.
The meeting further approved Rehabilitation and Upgradation of Trimmu Barrage and Panjnad Headwork's (ADB assisted) with a rationalized cost of Rs 16.8 billion including ADB loan of Rs 14.9 billion.
The ECNEC considered and approved dualization and improvement of 64 km long Mandra-Chakwal Road project with a revised cost of Rs 4.671 billion. The project envisages construction of dual way two-lane carriageway between Mandra and Chakwal to facilitate heavy traffic of the section.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, Pervaiz Rashid, Minister for Planning and Development, Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Industries and Production, Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi, Minister for National Food Security and Research, Sikandar Hyat Khan Bosan, Minister for Science and Technology, Zahid Hamid, Chairman Privatization Commission, Mohammad Zubair, Advisor to CM Sindh on Finance, Syed Murad Ali Shah, Provincial Minister Balochistan, Abdul Rahim Ziaratwal, Federal Secretaries and senior officials of the federal and provincial governments.
The finance minister observed that in the past most of the projects were not completed on time and as a result their cost increased considerably.
Ishaq Dar said that we should aim for a mechanism through which projects are delivered on time as there is a huge social and developmental cost attached to delays.
He said that the Planning Development and Reform Division should monitor physical progress as well as the results that these projects envisaged to be achieved.
He said that evaluation of PC-4s should become a regular exercise. He expressed the need to make improvements in the system for better results.
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