Projects worth Rs119bn approved by ECNEC

ISLAMABAD: After deciding to transfer allocated funds to the federal secretaries for each approved project at the beginning of every quarter, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved Rs199 billion for seven development projects.

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In a meeting presided over by the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, a fresh mechanism was approved to simplify the process for releasing of funds for development projects under the public finance management for simplification.

Under the revised mechanism, it has been decided that as per the criteria of the finance division, project-wise funds (rupee component) allocated in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) to the ongoing approved projects would be released to the ministries and divisions during the first week of each quarter. 20% funds would be at the disposal of ministries and divisions for the first and second quarter each and 30% for the third and fourth quarter, without originating demand by the federal secretaries/principal accounting officers.

Currently, the ministries have to file a request for release of funds for each project that goes through the ministries of planning and finance.

Mainly to be funded by the World Bank and executed by the Sindh government at a cost of Rs61.439 billion, the construction of Karachi Urban Mobility Project (Yellow Bus Rapid Transit-BRT Corridor) was approved by the ECNEC. The corridor is set to cover a distance of 21km, from Korangi Industrial Area to Kashmir Road intersection where it will be integrated into another corridor.

To ensure timely construction and fiscal discipline of Peshawar-Torkham Motorway, the formation of a coordination committee between the federal government and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government was approved in the meeting

Furthermore, ECNEC also approved the first component-1 of the Khyber Pass Economic Corridor worth Rs36.705 billion (World Bank share of Rs34.503bn ($217.24m), the project for the interlinking of 220kV Daharki, Rahim Yar Khan. Bahawalpur and Chishtian grid stations worth Rs15.795 billion to improve power supply system in the southern parts of the country, which will ensure ‘uninterrupted power supply’ to Hyderabad and Multan electric supply companies while the interlinking of R.Y. Khan Grid Station to Daharki through 220kV transmission line will provide backup link between Multan, Guddu and Shikarpur.

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