ECNEC approves seven projects worth up to Rs143 bln


ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar chaired the meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) at the Prime Minister’s Office in Islamabad on Wednesday.
ECNEC considered and approved the Prime Minister’s National Health Program (Revised), which will be implemented in 34 districts all over Pakistan at a rationalized cost of Rs. 8,179.092 million. The program is expected to be completed in 36 months. The project aims at improving the health status of the population in the country by ensuring access to quality health care especially enhancing coverage and access to secondary and priority treatment of the poor and vulnerable population. The insurance cover would be limited to Rs. 50,000 per family per annum for secondary care treatment and Rs. 250,000 per family per annum for priority treatment.
ECNEC also reviewed and approved “Renewable Energy Development Sector Investment Program (REDSIP) (2nd revised PC I) at an estimated cost of Rs. 15,794.66 million including FEC of Rs. 4,865.97 million. The project envisages construction of three hydropower projects with total capacity of 56.2 MW including 36.6 MW Daral Khawar Hydropower project (HPP), 17 MW Ranolia HPP and 2.6 MW Machai HPP. Under this program, three feasibility studies of Koto HPP (31MW), Jabori HPP(8MW) and Karora HPP(9.8MW) will also be carried out besides capacity building of PEDO. The main objective of the REDSIP program is to develop on sustainable basis, environment friendly and affordable, renewable power potential of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The project will be located in the districts of Swat, kohistan, Mardan, Dir, Shangla, Mansehra and Peshawar.
The 1410 MW Tarbela 5th Extension Hydropower Project was also approved by ECNEC at a revised cost of Rs. 82,361.6 million. The implementation period of the project will be around 48 months (2017-2021). The aim of the project is installation of three additional power generating units, having installed capacity of 470 MW each (total 1410 MW) on existing Tunnel-5 without affecting the capacity of irrigation release. The total installed capacity of Tarbela Dam after completion of Tarbela 5th extension will rise to 6298 MW.
ECNEC also gave final approval for the Dualization and Improvement of Mandra Chakwal Road Project (64 km) Revised at the total cost of Rs.9332.006 million. The project had been approved by ECNEC in principle on 8th March 2016 with an observation; the final approval came after the compliance of the said observation. The project is for the improvement/ rehabilitation of 64 km existing road to a width of 7.3 m (2-lanes carriageway), construction of additional 7.3 m wide road (2-lanes carriageway) provision of 7.3 m wide and 14.5 km Chakwal Northern by-pass, a railway flyover with allied structures and facilities.
ECNEC approved the proposal of the Government of Balochistan to change the executing agency for the Construction/ up-gradation of Dirgi Shabozai (N-70) to Taunsa Sharif (N-55) Road (175km) project from Balochistan Development Authority to Communications and Works Department, Government of Balochistan. The project has already been approved by ECNEC on 13-9-2013 at the total cost of Rs. 4795.980 million. The project envisages the construction/ up-gradation of 6.1 m wide and 155KM long road besides widening of 20km long section from 3.65 m width and allied facilities between Dirgi-Shabozai on N-70 leading to Taunsa Sharif on N-55 with the cost being shared by the Federal and provincial governments in 60:40 ratio.
Construction of 6-Lane Highway from Kala Shah Kaku to Lahore Ring road (18.30 Km) including Bridge over River Ravi (Lahore Eastern Bypass) was also approved by ECNEC at the total cost of Rs.12, 848.047 million. The scope of work also includes construction of 6 lane bridge over River Ravi spanning 800 m, 2 bridges over railway crossings, 4 bridges on drains/ nullahs, 5 underpasses, 3 interchanges, 17 cattle creeps, 12 culverts, drainage, erosion and flood protection works. The executing agency for the project will be the National Highway Authority. The project will be completed in a period of 24 months starting from October 2016.
ECNEC also approved the “Technology Park Development Project-Islamabad” at the total cost of Rs.9246.013 million. The foreign exchange component for the project (Rs 7983.091; included in the total cost) will be provided by the EXIM Bank of Korea through a soft loan. The project is expected to be completed in 4 years. The project envisages the establishment of Information Technology Park on 14.9 acres of land leased by PSEB at Kuri Road Chak Shahzad, Islamabad. The concept design park proposes two phases of self contained and interconnected buildings having covered area of approximately 45000 square meters providing office space and other facilities to IT companies. ECNEC was also briefed that the successful completion of the project will open door of direct/ indirect employment opportunities for Pakistanis.
ECNEC also approved “Faculty Development Program for Pakistani Universities” at the rationalized cost of Rs.7142 million. The program is expected to be completed by December 2024. Under the project 2000 Split PhD scholarships to non-PhD faculty members already inducted in the public sector universities/ Degree Awarding Institutes (DAIs). Scholars will start their initial research in Pakistan and at any point during research he/she would be required to proceed abroad for a maximum period of 6-12 months with the recommendation of the local supervisor and acceptance by the foreign supervisor for the research work. The program is expected to improve the quality of higher education in the country. According to HEC, all provinces will be given due representation in the program.


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