January 21, 2021: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) Thursday approved a summary regarding construction of Gwadar-Ratodero Road Project (M-8) sponsored by the Ministry of Communication and executed by National Highway Authority (NHA) at a rationalized cost of Rs 38,026.28 million.
The meeting of ECNEC was chaired by Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh while among others, it was attended by Federal Minister for Planning, Development Reforms and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, Adviser to the PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Adviser to the PM for Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr Ishrat Hussain and Minister for Economic Affairs Khusro Bakhtiar.
According to press statement issued by the Finance Ministry, the ECNEC approved the M-8 project in view of its strategic importance as it would facilitate connectivity for China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects through improved road linkages.
The ECNEC approved a project worth Rs13.361 billion for provision of Advanced Skills Development through International Scholarship Phase-1 for Master and PhD programs to be executed by the Higher Education Commission (HEC).
The project is part of a Prime Minister Knowledge Economy Task Force Initiative which would enable the youth to access higher education opportunities in well-reputed international universities.
A summary regarding Greater Karachi Water Supply Scheme (K-IV) 260 MGD (Phase-1) was presented before ECNEC. The project would provide additional 260 MGD water to Karachi at the total cost of Rs 25,551.77 million.
The expected period of completion of the project is four years. ECNEC approved the project for provision of environment friendly water sanitation and waste management infrastructure / facilities to residents of Karachi.
Similarly, a project titled ‘Solid Waste Emergency and Efficiency Project (SWEEP)’ was presented before the Committee sponsored by the Local government, Housing and Town Planning Department, Government of Sindh with total cost of
Rs 16,800 million including IBRD-World Bank loan of Rs 16,000 million.
The project is designed to mitigate the risk of widespread flooding caused by inadequate solid and liquid waste management during monsoon season and to improve the Solid Waste Management (SWM) infrastructure and service delivery with a view to transform Karachi into an eco-friendly city in the long run.
ECNEC approved the Khyber Pakhtunkwa Human Capital Investment Project (KPHCIP) (Education Component) at the total cost of Rs18910.255 million ($115 million). The Project has been financed by the World Bank/IDA. The Project is envisioned to upgrade basic education infrastructure in the districts of Peshawar, Haripur, Noshera and Swabi of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.
The project for the “Construction of 100 Dams in Balochistan- Package IV (23 Dams)” was approved by ECNEC at the total cost of Rs13,512.725 million. Irrigation Department, government of Balochistan would execute the project and it would complete in 03 years.
Realizing the water scarcity in the province of Balochistan, the project is designed to harness flood flows for direct irrigation, ground water recharge and agricultural development through construction of small dams throughout the province.
Phase-II of the “Pak-China Optical Fiber Cable (OFC) Project for Establishment of Cross-Border OFC Network (Khunjerab-Karachi) Along China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Routes” was approved at the total cost of Rs37,915.899 million. The project will provide alternate path for international connectivity through Northern Border of Pakistan with China and would transform Pakistan as a Digital Gateway of regional connectivity.
COVID-19 response and other Natural Calamities Control Program was approved by the ECNEC at the cost of Rs 70 billion as federal share. The project includes National Health upgradation program, National program for Water and Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), COVID-19 interventions for less developed areas etc.
ECNEC also approved the Project for “Dualization and Improvement of Old Bannu Road” at the total cost of Rs 17,230 million from federal PSDP (2020-21).
The project envisages dualization of existing 02-lane old Bannu road measuring 83 km in length from Gaandi Chowk to Sarai Naurang (8km) and Domail to Krapa on N-55 (75km) to 4 lanes with 7.3 m wide carriageway on either side.
Scope of work also includes extension of existing culverts & bridges, construction of retaining walls along with drainage / erosion works and allied facilities. NHA shall execute the project.