Jul 15: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Monday approved “Dasu Hydropower Project (stage 1) revision of cost for land acquisition and built up of property” after imposition of section 4 of Land acquisition Act of 1894 subject to opinion of the Law Ministry in this regard.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, who chaired ECNEC meeting, directed that the Ministry of Law might be requested to give its opinion in a week’s time to save the project from further delay.
The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Planning Development and Reforms, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms and Austerity, Minister for Finance Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Chairperson P/D Board Sindh and senior officials of federal and provincial governments, a finance ministry press release said.
The project was financed by World Bank, and Water and Power Development Authority, and was designed to provide 4,320 MW of electricity in two stages.
ECNEC also approved the project for the evacuation of power from 2,160 MW Dasu HPP stage 1, Dasu to Islamabad via Mansehra at a revised cost of Rs 90,831.69 million with FEC of Rs 79,584.20 million.
The changes in the cost of the project occurred due to changes in the exchange rate, the meeting was told.
Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh observed that the projects' cost revision due to exchange rate fluctuation had become a regular exercise at ECNEC and directed the Ministry of Planning to devise a mechanism to incorporate the exchange rate fluctuations in the cost of the project.
ECNEC also considered and approved the “Engineering Procurement and Construction of Balakot Hydropower project, Manshera Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at the updated cost of Rs 85,912.926 million with the FEC of Rs 35,049.714 million.
The project will be sponsored and executed by the Energy and Power Department, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The financing for the project would be from the Asian Development Bank (80%) and (20%) from the annual development programme of KP government.
The adviser on finance and revenue also directed to form a committee to look into the matter of filing a petition to NEPRA (National Electronic Regulatory Authority) for reference tariff for public sector power projects at EPC as well as COD stage. The
minister for planning, members from NEPRA, the secretary Power Division, and secretary planning KP would be members of the committee.
While reviewing the “500 kV HVDC Transmission System between Tajikistan and Pakistan for Central Asia- South Asia transmission interconnection (CASA1000) Modified”, the adviser directed that the project might be brought back to the next meeting of the ECNEC by the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms after another round of consultation with the project stakeholders , and detailed discussion on export of energy as well to ensure its viability.
ECNEC also approved two power projects on the same observations; “the 1,223 MW(Gross) combined cycle Power Plant Balloki, District Kasur” and “1230MW (Gross)Combined Cycle power plant at Haveli Bahadur Shah, District Jhang (2nd revised PC1)”.
ECNEC had the following observations for both the projects:
Construction of Housing complex and allied facilities might be allowed at a rate of Rs5,000/sq ft already permitted by NEPRA as an ex-post facto case.
Sponsors should justify land acquisition for Housing Complex without prior approval of ECNEC and award design work to consultants.
This approval would in no way constitute endorsement of the fiduciary/ management decisions of NPPMCL board regarding internal cost adjustments/ re-appropriation within the approved PC 1, as these are not in the ambit of CDWP/ ECNEC and are the responsibility of the board / PAO.
ECNEC also approved the 220kV Head Faqirian Grid Station Along with 220 kV double Circuit Transmission line from Head Faqirian to Ludewala at an updated cost of Rs.5812.08 million including FEC of Rs.2991.42 million.
The chair also directed that the Planning Commission to undertake an exercise of Project evaluation before bringing the projects to ECNEC, Dr.Ishart Hussain shall lead the exercise for the evaluation of the projects.
ECNEC also approved Extension of Intensive Care Department of Mother-Child Health Centre and children hospital at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) at an updated cost of Rs.4,270.588 million with FEC of 3,874.138 million (FEC: Japanese Yen: 3620.296 million as foreign aid from the government of Japan through JICA).
ECNEC approved Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Integrated Tourism Development Project at the cost of 17,000 million rupees. (World Bank Loan Rs.14,000 million and government of KP contribution 3,000 million).
The project aims at development of tourism at KP for economic growth, employment and revenue generation, progress of local communities, construction of roads and creating enabling environment for private sector operations.
The project will be completed by the end of financial year 2022-2023; the World Bank loan will be repaid by government of KP.
For the “Establishment and Operation of Basic Education, Community Schools in the country”, ECNEC approved a revised cost of Rs.4,629.742 million subject to the condition that honoraria to remaining BECS teachers with pending verifications may be made as per the ECNEC decision of January 9, 2019.
The ECNEC also gave prior approval for paying off major cost of this project till December with the instructions to devise a mechanism for facilitating the process of transition of this project to the provincial governments.
The Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination, Secretary Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, Secretaries of Provincial educational departments, Secretary Finance and Secretary Planning and Development with Adviser to Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms Dr. Ishrat Hussain would devise a plan for the smooth transition of this programme from the federal government to the provincial governments, as education was a devolved subject to be looked after by the provinces.
ECNEC approved the establishment of Pakistan Space Centre at Chakkri, Rawalpindi District at an updated cost of Rs.29,506.233 million including FEC of Rs.22,095.67 million.
The dualization of Kuchlak-Zhob section of N-50 (305 km) was also approved by ECNEC at a rationalized cost of 63,601.56 million without FEC. The road section is located in province of Balochistan.
The Competitive and Livable City of Karachi Project (CLICK) with the sponsorship of government of Sindh and World Bank/IPF-IBRD was also approved at a total cost of Rs. 33,600 million including World Bank loan of 32,200 million. It is estimated that the project will be completed by June 2024.