ECNEC approves 10 projects worth Rs 218.6 billion
(Daily Pakistan Today Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) A meeting of Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) was held at the Prime Minister’s Office on Tuesday with the Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar in chair.
ECNEC, in its meeting, approved ten projects totaling Rs 218.6 billion which include irrigation, water, power, infrastructure, education and a project for distribution of 100, 000 laptops under the Prime Minister’s Scheme for Youth.
The ECNEC approved the purchase of 100,000 laptops for distribution to students under the Prime Minister’s national programme for provision of laptops to all graduate and post-graduate degree holders at a cost of Rs 4 billion.
The ECNEC also decided not to issue a laptop to those who have already availed such an initiative nor shall they be eligible for laptops in future initiatives launched by the federal and provincial governments.
The council also directed the HEC to include in the bid for the laptops that the company shall establish assembly plant leading to manufacture of laptops in Pakistan.
The council also approved a project sponsored by the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan titled `Basic Education for all’ to open schools in the districts of AJ&K at a cost of Rs 1,224.1 million. ECNEC directed the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Baltistan to ensure that there is no duplication.
The ECNEC also approved a 14MW hydropower project Naltar-V at a total revised cost of Rs 3843.8 million. The objective of the construction of the project is to meet the power requirements of Gilgit Town.
It also gave principle approval to hydropower projects, Sharmai (150MW) located in Upper Dir, Shogo-Sen (132MW) and Shushgai-Zhendoli (144MW) in Chitral totaling Rs 91,682.7 million. These projects, proposed by the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, were approved subject to the condition that their financing requirement were fulfilled by the provincial government according to the Constitution and that the information is shared with ECNEC once the projects are firmed up and achieve financial close.
The ECNEC also approved the refurbishment and upgradation of generating limits of Mangla Power Station for enhancing its capacity from 1,000MW to 1,310MW at a proposed total cost of Rs 52,224.3 million by Ministry of Water and Power. The project is being financed by the USAID grant of $150 million, $102 million loan from JICA and an additional loan/grant of $ 111 million. The project was approved subject to the condition that in case of non-availability of loan, the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) shall complete the project from its own resources.
ECNEC approved the Kachhi Canal Project Phase-I at a revised cost of Rs 57,562 million. An amount of nearly Rs 37 billion has already been spent on the project. It has been decided that the Phase-I of this flagship project will be completed by December 2014. An additional amount of Rs 15 billion will be provided by the federal government as part of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s commitment to the people of Balochistan.
It would be pertinent to mention here that a committee constituted by the ECNEC under the chairmanship of Deputy Chairman Planning Ahsan Iqbal visited the area on September 14, 2013 to inspect the project and present a report to the ECNEC.
The council also approved the construction of Shadi Kaur Storage Dam and appurtenants work proposed by the Government of Balochsitan at a cost of Rs 6,522.8 million. The ECNEC approved the project subject to its Environment Impact Assessment.
The ECNEC also approved the construction of Flyover at Koyla Phatak Samungli Road, Quetta at a total cost of Rs 1.5 billion subject to its environmental impact assessment. The federal government provided three billion rupees under the quetta package and Government of Balochistan is constructing flyover under this package.
The meeting was attended by Senator Minister for Information Parvez Rashid, Federal Ministers for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid, Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, Food and National Security Sikandar Bosan, Minister of State for Information Technology Anusha Rehman, Minister for Education Baleeghuddin, Jam Kamal, Minister of State for Petroleum Abdur Rahim Ziaratwal, Serajul Haq, Mian Mustafa, Shujaur Rehman and senior officials of the federal and provincial governments.
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