ISLAMABAD: Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Tuesday approved ten projects totaling Rs 218.554 billion, including irrigation, water, power, infrastructure, education and for distribution of 100,000 laptop computers under the Prime Minister’s Scheme for youth.
The ECNEC meeting was chaired by Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar here at the Prime Minister’s Office.
The ECNEC approved the purchase of 100,000 laptop computers for distribution to students for all PhD, master, graduate and diploma in Engineering from Polytechnic to High Education Commission (HEC) at a cost of Rs four billion. The scheme is one of the initiatives launched under the Prime Minister’s Youth Schemes.
The ECNEC also decided that no laptop computer shall be issued to those students who have availed it in the past under such an initiative nor shall they be eligible for laptops in future initiatives launched by federal and provincial governments.
The ECNEC also directed HEC that bids for the laptops should include a condition that the bidders shall establish assembly plant leading to manufacture of laptops. This year laptops would be purchased off the shelf while in the consequent two years they will have to install assembly plants leading to manufacturing.
The ECNEC further approved a project sponsored by the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan titled “Basic Education for All” to open schools in Azad Jammu and Kashmir districts at a cost of Rs 1224.093 million.
The ECNEC directed the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan to ensure that there was no duplication.
The ECNEC also approved a 14 MW Hydropower Project Naltar-V at a total revised cost of Rs 3843.753 million.
The objective of the construction of the project is to meet the power requirements of Gilgit Town.
The ECNEC in principle approved Sharmai (150MW) Hydropower Project located in Upper Dir, Shogo-Sen (132MW) Hydropower Project and Shushgai- Zhendoli (144MW) Hydel Project in Chitral totaling Rs 91682.664 million.
These projects proposed by the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were approved subject to condition that their financing requirement were fulfilled by the provincial government according to the constitution and that the information is shared with ECNEC once the projects are firmed up and achieve financial close.
The ECNEC also approved the refurbishment and upgradation of generating limits of Mangla Power Station for enhancing its capacity from 1000MW to 1310MW at a proposed total cost of Rs 52224.307 million by Ministry of Water and Power.
The project is being financed by $150 million USAID grant, $102 million JICA loan and an additional loan/grant of $ 111 million.
The project was approved subject to the condition that in case of non- availability of loan the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) shall complete the project from its own resources.
The ECNEC also approved the Kachhi Canal Project Phase-I at a revised cost of Rs 57,562 million.
An amount of nearly Rs 37 billion has already been spent on the project.
The ECNEC decided that the Phase-I of this flagship project would be completed by December 2014.
An additional amount of Rs 15 billion would be provided by the Federal Government as part of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s commitment to the people of Balochistan.
It would be pertinent to mention here that a committee constituted by ECNEC under the chairmanship of Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Ahsan Iqbal visited the area on September 14, 2013 to inspect the project and present a report to ECNEC.
The ECNEC also approved the construction of Shadi Kaur Storage Dam and appurtenants work proposed by the Government of Balochsitan at a cost of Rs 6522.81 million.
The ECNEC approved the project subject to its Environment Impact Assessment.
The ECNEC also approved the construction of Flyover at Koyla Phatak Samungli Road, Quetta at a total cost of Rs.1.4999 billion subject to its Environmental Impact Assessment. Federal Government provided Rs 3 billion under the Quetta Package and Government of Balochistan is constructing flyover under this package.
The meeting was attended by Senator Parvaiz Rashid Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, federal ministers for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid, Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, Food and National Security Sikandar Bosan, Minister of State for Information Technology Anusha Rehman, Minister for Education Baleeghuddin, Jam Kamal, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Abdur Rahim Ziaratwal, Provincial Minister Balochistan, Serajul Haq Senior Minister for Finance, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkwa, Mian Mustafa, Shuja-ur-Rehman, Minister of Finance Government of the Punjab and senior officials of the federal and provincial governments.