ISLAMABAD: The Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Thursday said that the federal government is committed to providing its share of funds and taking all measures needed to expedite the execution of bulk water supply project, K-IV, in Karachi.
The minister said that the federal government is awaiting response from the Sindh government over agreed funding arrangements for the execution of the project.
Asad Umar expressed these views during a meeting with the Sindh Governor Imran Ismail held in Islamabad to discuss matters related to work on on-going projects under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) in Sindh.
The bulk water supply project was launched in 2007 when Syed Qaim Ali Shah was the chief minister of Sindh. The contract of the project was awarded to the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) by Jam Khan Shoro who was the Sindh local government minister at the time.
Later, Saeed Ghani, while being the Sindh local government minister, awarded a third party contract to NESPAK aimed at pointing out flaws in the project. Due to the delays in project implementation, the cost of the project has increased manifolds.
During the meeting Asad Umar also vowed to expeditiously complete other projects aimed at addressing civic and mobility issues in Karachi. He assured the Sindh governor that the federal government would provide full support to the development efforts of the Sindh government.
The governor informed the federal minister regarding various development activities being undertaken by the Sindh Infrastructure Development Company (SIDCL) and assured that the projects being executed by the company will be completed on time.
Meanwhile Asad Umar also chaired a meeting pertaining to Prime Minister’s (PM) Kamyab Jawan Programme for establishing utility store franchises across Pakistan.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Industries Hammad Azhar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Youth Affairs Muhammad Usman Dar, Utility Stores Corporation managing director and senior officials of the government.
Usman Dar informed the meeting that about 250,000 applicants who applied for loans under the PM Kamyab Jawan Programme are interested in opening up retail stores. He said that loans under the programme can be extended to the already established franchises and also for setting up new franchises under the umbrella of the Utility Stores Corporation.
Asad Umar said that phase two of the PM Kamyab Jawan Programme in collaboration with the Ministry of Industries will provide loans for the establishment of utility store franchises.
He said that lending to such franchises has the dual benefit of ensuring that loans are secured and that these stores would play a role in stabilizing the market.
He further said that the existence of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is a prerequisite for successfully monitoring and running such stores.
Minister for Industries Hammad Azhar said that his ministry would assess the proposed plan of lending to about 1,000 operational franchises under the Utility Stores Corporation and also work on presenting a model for establishing new stores.
He added that lending would be scaled up once a pilot project is successfully launched.