Executive Committee of the National Economic Council Approves Seven Projects Amounting Rs.86.3 Billion

Islamabad: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council which has met here today with the Federal Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in the chair has approved seven projects.

The projects that were brought under discussion today have already been put in the last meeting of the Central Development Working Party and were duly recommended by the same to the ECNEC, for consideration and approval.

Approved projects were:

1. 26MW Shagarthang Hydropower Project, District Skardu (Revised) (ADB Funding) costing Rs.4843.726 million.

2. Establishment of 48 MW Jagran-II Hydro Electric Power Station (Phase-2), District Neelum in AJ and K (Revised PC-1) (French Loan) costing Rs.6,509.700 million.

3. 220 KV Grid Station at Lalian, at Chiniot, Punjab (ADB-MTFF) (Multi Tranche Financing Facility) costing Rs.1581.47 million.

4. Master Leading to PhD Scholarship Programme (Indigenous and Overseas) for students of Balochistan (An initiative of the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan Package)-HEC at a cost of Rs.3138.692 million.

5. Lowari Tunnel and Access Roads Project Modified as a road tunnel costing Rs.18,132.544 million.

6. Doubling of Track from Lodhran to Khanewal via Multan Cantt (Revised) costing Rs.3,678.500 million.

7. Population Welfare Programme 2010-15 (Federal Activity Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir) at a cost of Rs.48571.140 million.

The Economic Council also deliberated at length over the Islamabad Safe City Project which was already approved lastly. In its summary to ECNEC the Ministry of Interior had requested for waiver of ECNEC restriction which had directed that activation of the project would be subject to the outcome of the litigation which is being heard in the Supreme Court.

The meeting also decided to request the Supreme Court to expedite the hearing and given early decision in this regard so that the fate of the project may be finalized in the light of the SC decision. The meeting also was of the view that the operationalization of the project is subject to the decision of the Supreme Court, and directed the Ministry of Interior to keep the loan active with the Chinese Exim Bank for this project.

While deliberating the project “Master Leading to PhD Scholarship Programme (Indigenous and Overseas) for students of Balochistan (An initiative of the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan Package), the meeting observed that many issues are not clear.

In this regard the Finance Minister constituted a committee comprising Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Agriculture, Representatives of Balochistan Government, Secretary Interior and representatives of HEC. The committee shall meet next week.

It may be mentioned here that the project is focused toward providing opportunities to under privileged candidates of Balochistan, an opportunity for higher education.

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