ECNEC approves Rs 43bn nine development projects
08 October, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Monday approved nine projects amounting to Rs 42.92 billion in the energy, education, health, transport and communications, irrigation and water sectors.
The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar at the Prime Minister's Office. It was attended by Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Mohammad Asif, Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervez Rashid, Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal, Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunications Anusha Rehman, representatives of all provinces and senior officials of the federal and provincial governments.
The ECNEC approved two projects for Punjab amounting to Rs 24.84 billion, three projects for Balochistan amounting to Rs 8.70 billion, one project for Sindh amounting to Rs 2.08 billion and two for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa amounting to Rs 4.40 billion, and one national scholarship programme amounting to Rs 2.90 billion. The meeting was told that the government of Punjab has started work on two hydropower projects while work on a project of 84MW was inaugurated recently by the private sector. The meeting was also told that the Punjab government would soon start work on 125MW Taunasa Hydropower Project.
While approving upgradation of girls primary schools in twelve districts of Sindh, ECNEC directed the province to commit that it would provide Rs 100 million as its share so that work on the project could be completed in the stipulated period. While approving a proposal of the Higher Education Commission for Rs 2.9 billion scholarship for Pakistani students, ECNEC said that the nomenclature of the programme should reflect the contribution of government of Pakistan and it should be renamed accordingly.
The committee appreciated the lead taken by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government for initiating a social health insurance programme aimed at medical insurance which will provide health coverage to 21% of the poorest households, each comprising seven people on average. The meeting expressed the hope that this project, if successful, may be replicated by other provinces.
While approving the Rs 3 billion Gomal Zam Dam's Command Area Development and On-Farm Water Management for High Value and High Efficiency Agriculture Project in principle, ECNEC directed the Planning and Development Division to rationalise the cost, the period and area of cultivation and report back to the committee in its next meeting. The meeting was told that 73% of the cost of the project would be borne by USAID while the local contribution of Rs 800 million would be in kind.