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January 15, 2020

Federal govt executing Rs1,19 bn 44 development projects in Karachi

Top Story

January 15, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Amid ongoing efforts to convince MQM for not parting ways with coalition led PTI government at Center, the federal government is executing 44 development projects with estimated cost of Rs119 billion for metropolitan and hub of economic activities Karachi.

Top official sources at PM Secretariat told this scribe in background discussions that there were some problematic projects undertaken by the federal government such as Greater Karachi Water Supply Scheme (K-IV) with total revised cost of Rs25.510 billion on cost sharing basis of 50:50 by the Center and Sindh government, the Planning Commission identified major flaws in the designing of the project and asked the province to accomplish the project within stipulated timeframe and cost.

The Center had allocated Rs9.3 billion for this project few years back as part of the PSDP in order to complete the project but allocated amount could not be utilized. Now the project cost has feared to escalate phenomenally and Sindh government is indicating to revise upward the cost to Rs75 billion after inclusion of newly developed areas of the city and installation of 5 megawatt electricity plant to run this project of water supply in smooth manner.

In a separate but quite relevant development, Ms Naheed S Durrani, an officer of PAS (BS-22) relinquished the charge of the post of Chairperson Planning & Development Board Sindh while Muhammad Waseem an officer of ex-PCS (BS-22) assumed the charge of the post of Chairman Planning & Development Board Sindh.

The sources privy to this development told this scribe that such a brilliant chairperson was removed from her position because federal minister for planning Asad Umar praised her expertize for identifying flaws in execution of K-IV water supply scheme for Karachi ahead of top guns of Sindh government recently that also played role for her removal from post of Chairperson of Planning and Development Board of Sindh province. Ms Naheed S Durrani is daughter of former Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and sister of MNA Nafisa Shah.

Now when Prime Minister Imran Khan is going to meet MQM delegation in Islamabad on Wednesday (today), the federal government has done its spadework and prepared list of development schemes undertaken by the Center in Karachi from its own resources or cost sharing basis with Sindh.

Of total 44 development schemes, there are 38 approved development projects and 6 unapproved projects exist into Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP). With total estimated cost of Rs119 billion for 44 development schemes, the expenditures so far incurred stood at Rs52 billion till end of last fiscal year on June 30, 2019. Against remaining throw forward of Rs67 billion requirement, the PTI led government made allocation of Rs21 billion for the current fiscal year including Rs12 billion for ongoing schemes and 9 billion for new development schemes.

The Ministry of Planning and Development so far authorized Rs9 billion funding in first half (July-Dec) period of the current fiscal year. The Planning Ministry cited reasons for less than 50 percent authorization of allocated amount of Rs21 billion in first half is mainly due to unapproved projects especially allocation of Rs2.9 billion for development schemes under Prime Minister’s Programme in Sindh.

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