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Rs. 54 bn projects sanctioned

Need to create ownership of development projects at the provincial and local levels

From Shamim Ahmed Rizvi,
Sep 10 - 16, 2001

The Executive committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) in its meeting held in Islamabad on Friday last week sanctioned an unusually high development outlay of over Rs. 54 billion. This is highest ever sanctioned in one sitting. The ECNEC approved 12 medium size development projects related to drought and water management, Agriculture, Education and Communication sectors.

The Finance Minister, Shaukat Aziz, while presiding over the meeting, emphasised the need to create ownership of development projects at the provincial and local levels. There was need to unbundle development projects by the provinces rather than having large umbrella projects so that development activities are more reflective of provincial and local needs, he added.

The minister said that the President has launched several development projects across the country to meet the needs of agriculture, water management and poverty reduction. The projects are crucial to help improve agriculture and develop infrastructure including transportation and roads. These medium size development projects have been carefully evaluated by the Planning Commission.

The ECNEC approved the following projects:

ADB assisted farm to market roads projects Phase II

The project is sponsored by the Ministry of Environment Local Government and Rural Development in 20 selected Districts of the four Provinces. The cost of project is Rs. 4,703.925 million.

Upgradation and strengthening of the Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad.

The cost of the project will be Rs. 625.783 million; 279 new jobs will be created from Lecturer to Professor (BPS 17 to 20) 63 Teaching/Research Assistants, who will be engaged in Ph.D. and M.Phil. programmes will also be hired. Different departments of the university will be upgraded and their research facilities improved.

Establishment of Karakurum University At Gilgit (Northern Areas) Phase I.

The cost of project is Rs. 400.827 million; 59 new posts (BPS-17 to 22) teaching/non teaching will be created; 245 new posts will be for grades 5-16, while 142 posts of grade 1-2. Project will lead to enhance access to higher education and research. Initially, 50 students each will be admitted to three new departments, Business Administration, Computer Science and Food Processing Technology. The university will also serve as examining body at Matric, Intermediate, Graduate and Post graduate levels.

South FATA Development Project:

The cost of the project is Rs. 1,136.668 million. The project aims at to alleviate poverty and improve the household food security of the target groups of South FATA, in a sustainable manner through improving agricultural production and creating income generation opportunities through improvements in (i) Community and Women Development (ii). Agricultural and Livestock Development (iii). Irrigation Development (iv). Improve Feeder Road Access (v). Rural Financial Services.

N.W.F.P. Barani Area Development Project (Phase II)

The estimated cost of the project is Rs. 6069.30 million including Rs 4,093.80 million loan provided by Asian Development Bank and International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD). The project is a multisectoral area development project aims to reduce poverty in remote areas of NWFP, particularly among small land holders and landless people.

Development and Upgradation of Services of Pakistan Model Village Humak, Islamabad.

The cost of the project is Rs. 349,222 million. The project is sponsored by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) which is also responsible for its implementation. The CDA aims to provide 2969 residential plots in Model Village, Humak (MVI) over an area of 331.65 acres. Infrastructure, including roads/ paths, house to house water supply, sanitary sewer system and sewage treatment plant, storm drainage network, overhead, electrification, street lighting, landscaping and sui gas are being developed on the pattern of regular sectors of Islamabad.

Extension of RBOD From Sehwan To Sea.

The project is located in Dadu and Thatta district of Sindh province and will cost Rs. 14,000 million. The objective of the project is the disposal of saline effluent of RBOD Stage I, in an environmentally safe manner from Sehwan to sea near Gharo Creek to avoid the risk of damage to an area of 3 million acres of Kotri Barrage and risk of contamination of drinking water to population of 15 million people.

Gomal Zam Multipurpose Project.

This project will cost Rs. 12,829 million and aims at providing irrigation water supplier to 1,63,086 acres of culturable command area (30,888 acres with perennial supplies and 1,32,198 acres with flood water supplied), generating 17.4 MW of electricity and mitigating flood damages in areas downstream of the proposed dam.

Raising Mangla Dam By 40 ft Phase II

The PC II "Raising Mangla Dam by 40 ft Phase II Detailed Engineering and tender documents" will be costing Rs. 462,441 million with foreign exchange component of Rs. 90,001 million. The project site is located on River Jhelum about 60 miles south east of Islamabad near Mirpur district of AJ&K. On the instruction of Government of Pakistan WAPDA initiated technical study and examination of raising of the Mangla Dam by 40 ft. The study was planned to be carried out in two (2) phases. In phase I, it was envisaged to establish the feasibility of the dam raising.

Feasibility study, carried out in Phase I, by the consultants has shown that raising of Mangla Dam is technically feasible and economically attractive.

ADB Assisted Middle School Project for Balochistan, N.W.F.P. and Sindh.

The project will cost Rs. 2567.925 million with ADB loan of Rs. 1991.954 million. The project envisages expansion and improvement of elementary/ middle level education facilities with emphasis on promotion of girls education, by upgrading 619 existing primary schools to middle level and stipends to 52,930 female students.

Procurement of 65 Diesel Electric Locomotives.

The project will cost Rs. 11.151 billion including a foreign exchange component of Rs. 7.454 billion. The project is a part of the Rehabilitation Plan of Pakistan Railways. The project envisaging procurement of 69 D.E. locomotives(44.Nos. of 3000-3500 H.P. and 25 Nos. of 2000-2005 H.P. locomotives. The project is included in the Ten years Perspective Development Plan.

Rehabilitation of 240 Passenger Coaches.

The project has been sponsored by the Ministry of Communications and Railways at a cost of Rs. 558.55 million, all in local component. Pakistan Railways own a fleet of 1358 Passenger Coaches of which 800 are ineffective. Out of this ineffective lot, 500 coaches are capable of being re-used after rehabilitation. The project envisages rehabilitation of 240 passenger coaches out of these. Rehabilitation of the proposed coach would improve the number of coaches in service thereby reducing incidents of disruption in trains operation and problems to the travelling public. The level of service for the passengers in terms of comfort and safety would be improved.

The meeting was also attended by Ministers of Education, Food and Agriculture, Adviser to Chief Executive on Agriculture, Deputy Chief Executive, Northern Areas, Deputy Chairman, Planning Ministers, Provincial Chief Secretaries and other senior federal and provincial officers.