ISLAMABAD: Executive Committee of the National Economic Council met under the chair of Federal Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and approved seven projects worth 85.3 billion.
The Central Development Working Party had recommended the projects for consideration and approval while ECNEC also cleared Rs 13 billion Islamabad Safe City Project.The approved projects are: 26MW Shagarthang Hydropower Project, Skardu District (Revised ADB Funding) costing Rs 4,843.726 million, establishment of 48MW Jagran-II Hydro Electric Power Station (Phase-2), Neelum District in Azad Kashmir (Revised PC-1 under French loan) costing Rs 6,509.7 million, 220KV Grid Station at Lalian, Chiniot, Punjab (ADB-Multi tranche financing facility) costing Rs 1,581.47 million, 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 3,138.692 million, Lowari Tunnel and Access Roads Project Modified as a road tunnel costing Rs 18,132.544 million, doubling of track from Lodhran to Khanewal via Multan Cantt (Revised) costing Rs 3,678.500 million, Population Welfare Programme 2010-15 (Federal activity Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir) at a cost of Rs 4,8571.140 million.
The Economic Council also deliberated at length over the Islamabad Safe City Project which was already approved. 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 subjected 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 give early decision in this regard so that the fate of the project may be finalised in the light of the SC decision. The meeting was of the view that the operationalisation of the project is subjected to the decision of the Supreme Court, and directed the Ministry of Interior to keep the loan active with the Chinese Exim Bank. While deliberating the project “Master leading to PhD scholarship programme (indigenous and overseas) for Balochistan students”, the meeting observed that many issues are not clear.
In this regard, the finance minister constituted a committee comprising Planning Commission’s deputy chairman, prime minister’s adviser on agriculture, representatives of the Balochistan government, secretary interior and representatives of the HEC. The committee will meet next week. It may be mentioned that the project is focused toward providing educational opportunities to underprivileged candidates of Balochistan. – Dailytimes