ISLAMABAD: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) has approved nine projects amounting to Rs42.92 billion in the energy, education, health, transport and communications, irrigation and water sectors.
The ECNEC meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar at the Prime Minister’s Office.
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 Ahmed Khan, representatives of all provinces and senior officials of the federal and provincial governments attended the meeting.
The committee approved two projects for Punjab amounting to Rs24.84 billion, three projects for Balochistan amounting to Rs8.70 billion, two projects for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa amounting to Rs4.40 billion, a project for Sindh amounting to Rs2.08 billion and a national scholarship programme amounting to Rs2.90 billion.
The meeting was told that the government of Punjab has started work on two hydel power projects while work on a project of 84MW was inaugurated recently by the private sector.
The Punjab government will also start work on a 125MW Taunasa Hydel Project soon, the meeting was told.
While approving upgradation of primary schools for girls in twelve districts of Sindh, the ECNEC directed that the provincial government should commit to ensure Rs100 million as its share so that work on these project could be completed in the stipulated period.
Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal’s observation that teachers in these schools be recruited on merit was also noted.
Approving a proposal of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for Rs2.9 billion scholarship for Pakistani students, the committee desired that nomenclature of the programme should reflect contribution of the government and it should be renamed accordingly.
The ECNEC appreciated lead taken by the KP government for initiating a social health insurance programme aimed at medical insurance which will provide health coverage to 21 per cent of the poorest households each comprising seven persons on average.
The meeting expressed the hope that this project if successful may be replicated by other provinces.
Approving the Rs3 billion Gomal Zam Dam’s Command Area Development and On-Farm Water Management for High Value and High Efficiency Agriculture Project in principle, the committee directed the Planning and Development Division to rationalise the cost, the period and area of cultivation and report back to the ECNEC in its next meeting.
The meeting was told that 73 per cent of the cost of the project would be borne by USAID while the local contribution of Rs800 million would be in kind.
The ECNEC also approved construction of a flyover bridge at Sariab Phatak in Quetta. The scope of work also includes construction of additional lanes with total length of 250m (6.1m wide) on Sariab Road and 381m (9.3m wide) on Zarghoon road.