ISLAMABAD: The Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Monday accorded approval to more than Rs100-billion worth six development projects, including Winder Dam and Kachhi Canal.
The approvals came at a meeting chaired by Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh at the Cabinet Division.
The Winder Dam project, which is to be constructed across Winder River in Lasbela district of Balochistan, was approved by ECNEC at a total cost of Rs15,230.76 million without foreign exchange component (FEC) and with the condition that the command area development and land acquisition components will be started in parallel to the main project by the government of Balochistan.
The provincial government will ensure completion of the project within approved scope and cost. In case of further revision, an increase in cost will be borne by the provincial government from its own resources. It is expected that the project will be completed in four years’ time.
Kachhi Canal Project (remaining works of Phase-I) in Dera Bugti district of Balochistan was also approved at the revised cost of Rs22,921 million without FEC with the recommendation that there will be no deviation from scope and cost firmed by the follow up committee constituted by the Central Development Working Party (CDWP).
A component of detailed engineering design/tender documents/PC-I for phase II and phase III costing Rs120 million has been added in the cost summary of the project, which will be actively pursued. Balochistan’s agriculture department will ensure the resolution of land settlement issues and development of 102,000-acre command area to be developed by December 2020.
The responsibility of technical soundness of design will rest with the project consultants NESPAK and no deviation from the design will be made. The project will be completed in three years from the date of approval.
The Pakistan Raises Revenue Project including its IPF Component (For the FBR Headquarters, Islamabad) was approved at the total cost of Rs12,480 million with FEC component of $80 million.
The aim of the proposed program is to eliminate country’s fiscal constraints through sustainable increasing revenues and reducing tax expenditure by broadening tax base and modernising FBR with advanced ICT based operations under its transformation roadmap.
The proposed project is part of World Bank’s funded IDA soft loan amounting to $400 million. The loan has two components i.e. $320 million for result based/ Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLI)-based financing, and $80 million for its traditional investment project financing (IPF).
Up-gradation of connectivity of FBR offices through installation of ICT equipment at all FBR offices and Customs control posts for data sharing and communication is envisaged under this project.
The committee chair directed that FBR will give a detailed presentation on the strategy for the utilisation of funds especially the DLI component and its impact on the Human resource building at FBR in the next meeting of ECNEC.
The council also accorded ex-post facto approval for the development of Kartarpur Sahib Corridor on EPC/ Turnkey basis phase- I (Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib Narowal) at a modified cost of Rs16,546.2 million.
The Lahore Water and Wastewater Management Project – a sewerage system from Larech Colony to Gulshan-e-Ravi, Lahore (through trenchless technology)- was approved by ECNEC at the revised cost of Rs14,430.506 million. The cost includes Rs14,165.06 million AIIB loan ($256 million) in addition to already incurred amount of Rs265.446 million.
The project aims comprehensive and detailed design of sanitation system for disposal of sewerage and wastewater from Larech Colony to Gulshan-e-Ravi, Lahore through trenchless technology. The project intends to ensure efficiency in safe and quick disposal of sewage/wastewater by laying of trunk sewerage system and to develop a comprehensive, technically viable plan.
The construction of Eastern Wastewater Treatment Plant (44 MGD) of Faisalabad City (Phase-I) at the total cost of Rs19,071.222 million was also approved by ECNEC.
The foreign component of the project includes loan and grant from the government of Denmark (DANIDA) amounting to Rs17,238.179 million, 35pc of this amount is grant, while loan component is 65pc.
The chair directed to set up a committee with the EAD minister and Planning Commission’s deputy chairman to prepare a mechanism for the disbursement of necessary aid in a fair and transparent manner wherein all provinces have an equal chance of getting a fair share according to their developmental needs and the priorities of the federal government.
ECONOMIC PROGRESS REVIEWED
Separately, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired another meeting at the Finance Division to review the progress being made by major sectors of the economy.
Ministers for Energy and Economic Affairs Division, the FBR chairperson and secretaries of the Finance Division, the Ministry of National Food Security and Research and the Ministry of Commerce attended the meeting.
The participants of the meeting shared the details of ongoing major initiatives of their respective ministries and divisions, their current status of progress to meet the targets set during the current financial year, the impact of the ongoing coronavirus epidemic on the economy and the strategy to achieve the targets with maximum success.
It was agreed during the meeting that all sectors related to the economy would work in unison to achieve economic targets with maximum efforts and that the government would ensure that the common man was not affected by any adverse fallout of the pandemic.