ISLAMABAD:The Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) Saturday cleared the re-alignment of KKH between Thakot and Raikot at a rationalized cost of RMB 13.067 billion as well as the revised PC-I of New Gwadar International Airport.

The new Gwadar airport is scheduled to become operational within the current calendar year.

A meeting of the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) was held at Prime Minister’s House. The meeting was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, due to other pre-occupations of the Prime Minister, and attended by Finance Minister, Planning Minister, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, representatives of provincial governments as well as senior officers.

The meeting considered 21 agenda items recommended to it in various meetings of Central Development Working Party (CDWP) and accorded approval for 19 projects.

To expedite the reconstruction and rehabilitation of flood affected areas in Balochistan, the forum accorded approval to 4 sub-components of $400 million World Bank funded Integrated Flood Resilience and Adaptation Programme (IFRAP). This included $155 million housing reconstruction and restoration sub-component, $50 million road infrastructure sub-component, $40 million livelihoods component and $30 million irrigation infrastructure component.

An amount of Rs 11.2 billion has been allocated in Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2024-25 for reconstruction projects in Balochistan. The forum directed that reconstruction activities in Balochistan be undertaken expeditiously while ensuring top quality.

A number of projects being undertaken in Sindh were also approved by the forum, including the revised Flood Response Emergency Housing Project at a cost of Rs 296 billion, including Rs 50 billion committed by the federal government.

An amount of Rs 30 billion has been allocated in PSDP 2024-25 as federal share for housing reconstruction in Sindh.

The Chair informed the forum that the federal government remained committed to providing its share in housing reconstruction efforts in Sindh.

Other projects included in Sindh ADP that were approved included Karachi Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project Phase-II and Competitive and Livable City of Karachi.

The forum also cleared revised PC-I of operationalization of Green Line BRTS in Karachi at a rationalized cost of Rs 13.502 billion while observing that Sindh government consider increasing the fare to reduce subsidy being borne by the federal government as well as NHA executed rehabilitation and reconstruction of 86-km long stretch of national highway (N-5) between Moro and Ranipur.

Other projects approved by the forum included electrical and mechanical works and allied buildings as well as access roads of Lowari tunnel at a cost of Rs 33.257 billion and 48 MW Jagran hydro power station at Rs 13.995 billion so that the project is completed by December 2024.

The forum also extended the Sehat Sahulat Program till end December 2024 with the direction to Ministry of National Health Services to submit by 15 September its recommendations regarding shifting the program to current budget, improving its fiscal sustainability and reforming the regulatory and monitoring framework. Prime Minister’s Programme for Elimination of Hepatitis C Infection was also approved at a cost of Rs 68.25 billion to be shared equally between federal government and provinces.

The Ministry of National Health Services was tasked to prepare an implementation plan with well-defined targets and measurable indicators within 3 months.

The forum also directed the Planning Commission to carry out an exercise for reviewing the Public Sector Development Programme in view of the shrinking fiscal space available with the federal government and timely completion of on-going projects.

The forum did not clear the re-modified PC-I for the up-gradation of Railways main line-1 (ML-1) and advised the Pakistan Railways to consider preparing smaller projects and packages with specific for financing and implementation.



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