Ecnec clears health, energy projects worth over Rs1tr
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Two mega projects in the energy and health sectors were approved by the Executive Committee of the Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday.

Finance and Revenue Minister Ishaq Dar presided over the meeting, which was attended by Commerce Minister Syed Naveed Qamar, Finance Minister Tariq Bajwa, Revenue Minister Tariq Mehmood Pasha, Senator Nisar Ahmad Khuhro, and Himayatullah Khan, Advisor Finance Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government. Also present at the meeting were federal secretaries and senior officers from federal ministries and provincial departments.

An eradication of polio disease project worth Rs513.167 billion has been approved by Ecnec for implementation across the country. As a result of the meeting, the revised project titled “Emergency Plan for Polio Eradication to make Pakistan polio-free” was approved by the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination and provincial health departments in collaboration with the World Health Organization and Unicef. It will take five years to implement the project.

The ECNEC also approved another mega project of the Ministry of National Food Security & Research titled “Prime Minister’s National Programme for Solarisation of Agriculture Tube Wells” in Punjab, Sindh, KP and Balochistan with a gestation period of three years at a cost of Rs377.24 billion. For 2023-24, Phase-I will include Rs90 billion in PSDP and an equivalent amount from provincial governments and beneficiary farmers.

By converting existing tube wells into solar PV systems, this project will enhance agricultural productivity through clean and green energy.

The meeting also approved a project titled “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Rural Investment & Industrial Support Project (RIISP)” to be implemented by the provincial government in District Bajur, Khyber, Kurram, Mohmand, North Waziristan, Orakzai, South Waziristan, and erstwhile Frontier region for Rs110.7bn including IDA loan of $300m from World Bank and KP government share of Rs29.7bn (in kind). Project completion will take place in two phases: one is a six-year phase (2023-2029) and one is a six-year phase (2029-2035).

ECNEC also considered a revised PC-I of the ongoing Sindh Solar Energy Project (SSEP) executed by the provincial government at a revised cost of Rs27.418 billion, including FEC of Rs24.265 billion. It will be financed by a loan from the World Bank, consisting of an IIDA credit of $100 million (95.2 percent) and a government loan of $5 million (4.7 percent). As a result of the ongoing project, Pakistan’s commitment to addressing climate change will be fulfilled and its energy security will be improved.

During the meeting, the Ministry of Energy (Power Division) also approved a project titled Evacuation of Power from 800MW Mohmand Dam HPP to the National Grid (PC-I) at a rationalised cost of Rs14.319bn including FEC of Rs6.318bn. Asian Development Bank is financing the project. In Nowshera, Peshawar, and Mohmand, the project will be implemented by National Transmission & Despatch Company (NTDC).

Additionally, ECNEC approved a project of the Ministry of Communications titled “Construction of Lahore Bypass from Kalashah Kaku Exit to KLM to Multan Road near Radio Station (40km) at a rationalised cost of Rs34.446bn without FEC. The project will be executed by the National Highway Authority (NHA). This project will be financed entirely by PSDP.