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August 30, 2019

Ecnec approves Rs579bln worth of development projects


August 30, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Thursday approved around Rs579 billion worth of various development projects mainly related to agriculture sector and water management.

The Ecnec took the decision during a meeting presided over by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Revenue and Finance Hafeez Shaikh. The committee further approved a proposal for revision of sanctioning powers of Ecnec for considering projects, costing more than Rs10 billion, Central Development Working Party for projects from Rs3 billion to Rs10 billion and federal level Department Development Working Party for projects from Rs60 million to Rs2 billion. It allowed submission of the summary to the Prime Minister Imran Khan for implementation till a formal approval of the proposal by the National Economic Council. The Ecnec approved eight projects worth Rs95 billion related to the agriculture sector, including productivity enhancement of wheat at Rs30.455 billion, productivity enhancement of rice at Rs15.789 billion, productivity enhancement of sugarcane at Rs4.935 billion, national oilseeds enhancement program at Rs10.963 billion, cage culture cluster development program at Rs9.081 billion, pilot shrimp farming cluster development project at Rs6.160 billion, water conservation in barani areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at Rs14.178 billion and Prime Minister’s initiative for ‘save the calf’ at Rs3.401 billion.

The committee approved national program for improvement of watercourse phase-II to be undertaken in all federating units at a cost of Rs154.542 billion for capacity building of 76,359 water user associations for participatory irrigation management, improvement of 59,427 watercourses across the country and construction of 16,932 water storage tanks and ponds at the farm level with the larger goal of curbing water losses, social mobilisation through capacity building of water users associations, minimisation of conveyance and field application losses, reduction in water-logging and salinity, equity in water distribution, reduction in water disputes, thefts and litigations, poverty reduction through employment generation and increase in crop yields and sufficiency in food. The Ecnec approved Rs46.804 billion for 500 kilovolt high-voltage direct current transmission system between Tajikistan and Pakistan for Central Asia-South Asia Transmission Interconnection (Casa-1000). The committee approved Rs17.421 billion for interconnection of isolated Gwadar/Makran area with the grid system. Another Rs17.421 billion was approved to provide adequate facilities for reliable and stable supply of power to the Gwadar.

The committee approved Karachi Water and Sewerage Services Improvement project phase-I at a cost of Rs16.708 billion. The project will facilitate and improve the capacity of Karachi Water and Sewerage Board in the provision of improved water and sanitation services to the residents and to carry out routine functions o operation and management of infrastructure and facilities. The Ecnec approved Rs78.384 billion to develop 24.2 kilometres of corridor from Numaish to Malir halt depot and a common corridor of 2.4 kilometre from municipal park to Merewether Tower. The project also includes construction of 29 bus stations, 8 off-corridor routes, including direct and feeder services, procurement of 199 buses using bio-methane gas from cattle waste as fuel, provision of security systems and allied equipment.

The committee approved Rs125.184 billion for plantation of 3.30 billion spalings, including 10 percent fruit trees to promote ecotourism, conserve and develop forests, increase income of local people from the sale of forest products, increase rangelands and pastures, enhance protective functions of watersheds for regulating their water regime, promote local flora and fauna and manage national wildlife parks, sanctuaries and national biosphere reserves.

The committee also approved Sehat Sahulat program covering 2.7 million families across the country at a cost of Rs31.935 billion to improve the population’s health status. The committee also approved Rs13.103 billion for the construction of new secondary schools in 160 existing primary schools across Sindh to impart training to teachers and other staff and to provide lab equipment to 660 schools.

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