The biggest single scheme costing about Rs.13 billion is for revamping and rehabilitation of irrigation and drainage system of Sindh



Aug 18 - 24
, 2003 




The Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) in its first quarterly meeting of the current financial year in Islamabad approved 19 projects costing Rupees 48,392.12 million with foreign exchange component FEC of Rupees 5,935.81 million.Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz chaired the meeting which attended by ministers for food and agriculture, information technology, privatisation, environment, advisor on science and technology, provincial secretaries of respective divisions and senior officials of the Ministry of Finance.

The ECNEC also reviewed PSDP provisional utilisation for the previous financial year 2002-03. It noted with satisfaction that Rs.132.5 billion were spent against the total budget of Rs.134 billion, 99% utilisation of allocation. The chairman ECNEC and finance minister eulogised the need for timely monitoring of projects so that Rs.160 billion PSDP for the current financial year is promptly utilised and transparently spent. Provincial and federal government departments were urged to monitor projects monthly and identify bottlenecks and take prompt actions.

Some of the nineteen projects are: education Rs.767.525 million; communications Rs.8,479.93 million; housing Rs.6,048.297 million; social infrastructure Rs.7,965.01 million; science and technology Rs.1,596.26 million; health Rs.267.5 million; governance Rs.319.460 million; hydroelectric power Rs.280.454 million and education Rs.9,704.646 million.

These projects would trigger, economic activity, generate employment opportunities, improve social and physical infrastructure, improve water utilisation to optimise crop output, provide incentives to construction industry, improve quality of life and create hope and opportunities for the people of Pakistan.The biggest single scheme costing about Rs.13 billion with a foreign exchange component of Rs.542 million approved by the ECNEC is for revamping and rehabilitation of irrigation and drainage system of Sindh.

Contrary to fears expressed in certain quarters that such a big allocation to Sindh might be objected by other provinces, the scheme was approved smoothly without any objection or criticism. Under the scheme, the canal banks will be strengthened, regulators and bridges will be repaired and extension of modules will be undertaken which would be completed by the end of year 2006. The project will improve irrigation system, reduce water losses, improve water crop ratio and increase agriculture production in Sindh province.

The other major projects approved by the ECNEC include Quetta Water Supply Rs.7.965 billion; rehabilitation of Sindh irrigation and drainage system Rs.12.963 billion; Rs.6.41873 billion Ph.D. fellowships; Rs.3.2859 billion foreign faculty hiring programme and development of Islamabad sectors G-13 and I-15, Rs.3.1064 and Rs.2.9418 billion respectively. It also includes Rs.1.2974 billion PCSIR Industrial Linkage program: Rs.1.853 billion Paksat project Phase II; Rs.1.486 billion AJK Rural Digital Uplift Project Phase II; and Rs.1.969 billion telecommunication deregulation and privatisation support project.



Rs.1.853 billion Paksat project Phase II with FEC of Rs.1.695 billion was approved to improve telecommunication system. It would provide effective global satellite communication.For AJK, the ECNEC approved Rs.1.486 billion Rural Digital uplift project Phase II with foreign exchange component of Rs.876 million. The project includes installation of 57 new digital exchanges, provision of 57 digital microwave links, provision for 5 digital sureties for the Internet, establishment of 9 satellite stations, extension of 16 existing exchange provision of 52,000 new digital lines and laying of 65 km optic fibre from Mansehra to Muzzafarabad along with construction of 17 microwave stations.

Similarly, the ECNEC approved Rs.1.969 billion, including FEC of Rs.1.194 billion, for telecommunication deregulation and privatisation support project to carry out studies to accelerate and upgrade telecommunication services and their privatisation. The ECNEC noted development of G-13 sector at a cost of Rs.3.1064 billion. The project aims at development of 5969 plots of sizes 111 to 500 sq. yards on an area of 706.61 acres. Out of this, 350 acres would be salable.

The meeting approved Rs.7.965 billion Quetta Water Supply and Environmental improvement project for increasing water supply from ten million gallons to 26 million gallons. The project also envisions development of new tube-wells, rehabilitation of existing system, installation of water meters, control of leakage and losses, augmenting reservoir capacity, enhancement of ground water recharge measure and construction of sewerage network to be completed in 60 months the project would ensure improved water supply for Quetta.

The meeting approved Rs.243.548 million for construction of an underpass at Mall canal crossing intersections to reduce traffic congestion in Lahore city. The project will be funded by provincial government. The ECNEC approved Rs.337.602 million with FEC of Rs.284.810 million expanded program of immunisation in NWFP for eradication and certification of Poliomyelitis by the year 2005, elimination of neonatal tetanus by 2005, reduced incidence of measles by 90 per cent and measles death 95 per cent by the year 2004. The project also encompasses reduction of diphtheria, whooping cough and childhood tuberculosis and protect pregnant woman against tetanus and their neonates against NNT.