ECNEC approves Rs1.2tr development projects
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Wednesday gave its approval to a comprehensive package of development projects amounting to over Rs1.2 trillion on Wednesday.
During the meeting chaired by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, one of the major projects endorsed was the 48-megawatt Shunter Hydropower Project in the Neelum Valley, which received the go-ahead from the government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
Valued at Rs14.98 billion, the project will receive Rs12.7369 billion (85 percent of the total cost) in funding from the Saudi Fund for Development. The remaining 15 percent will be financed through the annual development plan of the Government of AJK.
Additionally, the ECNEC approved the establishment of regional grids in the districts of Astor, Gilgit, Hunza, and Skardu in Gilgit-Baltistan Phase-I, as proposed by the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and GB. The project, estimated to cost Rs17.42 billion, will involve foreign funding of Rs1.824 billion, subject to revision based on bid, construction, and engineering estimates by the Ministry of Planning.
The Ministry of Finance also reported that the ECNEC gave its nod to the revised plan for the 26MW Shigarthing Hydropower Project in Skardu district, with an estimated value of Rs18.37 billion. Furthermore, foreign financing of Rs4.461.03 billion has been secured for this project.
In a separate decision, ECNEC approved the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Rural Access Project worth Rs69.40 billion. The project, which aims to enhance rural access to markets, education, and healthcare facilities through the rehabilitation of a 768.4 km long rural road network, will receive foreign aid and loans totaling Rs67.20 billion from the World Bank (WB).
The Department of Communications and Construction will oversee the implementation of this project across various districts of the K-P. While the government will fund the majority of the project, it will also be responsible for repaying the K-P loan.
During the meeting, ECNEC also thoroughly reviewed the progress report presented by the Planning Commission on the meetings held with the Governments of Punjab and Sindh regarding the Greater Thal Canal Project (Phase-II) in Leh, Bhakkar, and Khushab districts.