MoPD prioritise development projects in Balochistan

ISLAMABAD: While reviewing the progress on development projects in Balochistan, the Ministry of Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives has decided to prioritize important projects for fast progress.

 

A progress review meeting on the South Balochistan Development Plan was held here on Thursday which was chaired by Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar. Secretary Planning Hameed Yaqoob Sheikh, focal person S. Balochistan Development Package, and senior officials attended the meeting.

 

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In line with the vision of the honourable Prime Minister of Pakistan for the development of unprivileged and less developed areas in Pakistan, concerted efforts have led to the successful completion of Phase-I of the South Balochistan Development Package (SBDP); culminating in the listing of approved projects in PSDP 2021-22 and allocation of funds. To ensure implementation of approved projects at an accelerated pace, Planning Minister, Mr Asad Umer reviewed the Progress on Phase-II of the Southern Balochistan Development Plan and showed satisfaction with the progress on SBDP projects.

 

While reviewing the progress of new projects to be funded through Federal PSDP, the Planning Minister observed that 90 per cent of the projects have been approved and included in Federal PSDP 2021-22 @ Rs234.315bn out of which Rs25.721 bn have been allocated in CFY. Likewise, for various approved and ongoing PSDP projects amounting to Rs.   274.689bn, allocation for CFY amounts Rs29.160bn.  While reviewing the status of PC-I/IIs and corresponding financials, the Planning Minister observed that the current portfolio of Balochistan in federal PSDP has a thin spreading of funds and desired that a priority list of projects should be prepared so that fast-moving and strategic projects could be adequately funded for timely completion.

 

He also reviewed the progress on Priority SBDP projects, the Planning Minister was informed that National Highway Authority (NHA) has commenced procurement for 3 Projects i.e Construction of Hoshab – Awaran – Khuzdar Section of M-8 [Awaran – Naal 168 KM] @ Rs32bn, Hoshab-Awaran Section of M-8 (146 km) @ Rs38bn and Rehabilitation & Upgradation Awaran – Jhaljao Road (54.8 KM) @ Rs6.9bn. It was further informed that 7 x Road sector projects amounting to Rs. 24.39bn and 7 x water dams’ projects amounting to Rs48.68bn have been approved/ included in PSDP 2021-22 and their award process is being expedited. To address water shortages especially at Gwadar, funds have been approved for connecting the Shadi-Kaur dam with the Gwadar pipeline. Additionally, CDWP has accorded approval for the installation of a 1.2 MGD desalination plant at Gwadar Port through a Chinese grant. The Planning Minister directed completion of the desalination plant within 6 – 9 months to ease the population of Gwadar.

 

 

While reviewing the progress of 15 x projects to be funded through the Non-PSDP model @ Rs20.376bn, the Planning Minister observed that 78pc of the projects have been approved while projects amounting to approx. Rs10.188bn is in various stages of implementation in CFY. To improve Digital Connectivity in Gwadar, Chaghi, Noukeshi, Kech, USF has awarded contracts for districts @ Rs3200 million; planned completion is by 24 July 2022. He was further informed that the contract for High-Speed Broadband Connectivity along M-8 and National Highways is likely to be awarded by the 3rd quarter of 2021. The Minister appreciated that efforts of Tele & Data coverage will increase the livelihood opportunities to more than 0.5m people of Southern Balochistan.

 

 

The Minister also reviewed the progress of projects to be funded through the Public-Private Partnership model. The Planning Minister commented that the Private sector is the real driver of growth of countries across the globe and even the Sialkot-Kharian motorway has recently been inaugurated by the Prime Minister through such a model. The Planning Minister was informed that the supply of LPG to the Population of Southern Balochistan is a Priority project whereby the Petroleum Division has prepared a draft summary for CCoE consideration and circulated the same for views/ comments of all stakeholders.  The house was further informed that AEDB is working on Off-grid Electrification of Southern Balochistan districts and a consultant has been procured. The Fishermen Empowerment Programme has been inaugurated by the Prime Minister as part of the PM Kamyab Jawan Program. The MOU has been signed with 4 banks (Punjab, NBP, Al Falah, Habib) whereby banks will provide loans to eligible applicants.

 

 

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