ECNEC gives go-ahead to projects worth Rs301.727 billion

Mehtab Haider
Thursday, Nov 25, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Wednesday accorded approval to development projects worth Rs301.727 billion, while it prorogued the decision on Greater Thar Canal Project because of non-consensus among stakeholders.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin chaired ECNEC meeting. Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Asad Umer, Federal Minister for Industries and Production, Makhdoom Khusroo Bakhtiar, Federal Secretaries and other senior officers from federal as well as provincial government participated in the meeting.

During the meeting, the ECNEC green-lit the Pakistan Optical Remote Sensing Satellite (PRSS-02) project of SUPARCO worth Rs27.913 billion. The project will help build an indigenous capacity in the fields of space/satellite technology and its applications, institutional capacity building of SUPARCO, and promote high-tech research and development activities in the country on top of helping achieve self-reliance in satellite technologies in Pakistan.

Another project, sanctioned by ECNEC, is Rs43.382 billion Sialkot (Sambrial)–Kharian Motorway presented by Ministry of Communication, along with directions to NHA to present progress on development of the business model to ECC. The project involves construction of 69km long, 4-lane wide Sambrial- Kharian Motorway with structures to be constructed for 06 lanes. The forum especially lauded the efforts of Planning Commission and M/o Communication for finalising this project on PPP basis.

New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA) 2nd revised project worth Rs51.298 billion was also passed by the ECNEC. The project aims at construction of NGIA along with allied facilities over a piece of land already acquired. The NGIA will replace the existing airport at Gwadar which has small terminal building with limited capacity. The new airport will be suitable for bigger aircrafts like Airbus A-380 and Boeing 747 & 777 etc for international and domestic services.

Approval was also accorded to the Asian Development Bank funded Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) in IESCO at a cost of Rs16.930 billion, with directives to start the project without any delay as a pilot project and include other electric supplying companies. The project intends to enhance load control and load management up to the interface of the electricity distribution system operated by the distribution companies (DISCOs). The project has been designed as a least cost solution to reduce losses and efficiently balance supply in the specific areas of IESCO.

A position paper was also approved for amendments in the ECNEC decision, 2004 and for approval of Self-Finance Development Schemes of distribution companies/entities, submitted by Ministry of Energy.

Another project cleared by the committee is Remodelling of Warsak Canal System in Peshawar and Nowshera districts at a cost of Rs16.695 billion.

The 2nd revised PC-1 was considered on 50:50 cost sharing basis between federal and provincial government. Any variation in the cost of the project will be borne by the provincial government.

The ECNEC authorised World Bank-financed Rs12.782 billion Higher Education Development in Pakistan (HEDP-revised) project by HEC. The project activities will be executed throughout Pakistan.

The ECNEC Also considered Pak University of Engineering & Emerging Technologies (PUEET) Phase-I (Knowledge Economy Initiative) of HEC to be built at a cost of Rs23.54 billion. The PUEET will be a research and commercialisation university, which will house various centres of excellence in the cutting-edge fields of science and technology and a state-of-the-art- technology park.

Clearance was also given to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Cities Improvement Project (KPCIP) worth Rs97.146 billion. The KPCIP will improve the quality of life of the residents of five KP cities including Abbottabad, Kohat, Mardan, Mingora, and Peshawar directly benefitting about 6 million urban residents.

The forum also approved the construction of 10th Avenue from IJP road to Srinagar Highway Islamabad at a total cost of Rs12.139 billion. Project will be executed in two phases and completed in two years.

The ECNEC however deferred the decision on Greater Thar Canal Project with directions to relevant stakeholders, both at federal and provincial level, to reach a consensus prior to its resubmission to ECNEC.