Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired the meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) here at the Cabinet Division.
The committee considered and approved several projects, including the Indus Highway (N-55) Additional Carriageway Project.
This national highway (Shikarpur-Rajanpur section) will be of 221.95 KM and will be completed at the total rationalized cost of Rs 44,703.890 million. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide a massive chunk of the cost for this project, to the tune of Rs. 40, 233.500 million. The project will be completed in 3 years time and envisages construction of additional 2-lanes and widening/rehabilitation of existing 2-lane carriageway of Shikarpur-Rajanpur section of Indus highway N-55.
The total length of the Shikarpur- Rajanpur section is 221.95 km that will be upgraded to a 4 lane dual carriageway facility with each lane 3.65m wide. National Highway Authority (NHA) shall be responsible for the execution, operation and maintenance of the project. Federal PSDP has allocated Rs. 1,000 million (Rs. 1 billion) for the completion of this project in 2020-2021.
Construction of another section of the N-55 highway – Rajanpur-DG Khan Section – as 4 Lane Highway 9,121.50 Km was also approved by ECNEC at the total rationalized cost of Rs.33,172.22 million with ADB’s share of Rs. 28,528.11 million. The Project will be completed in 3 years by NHA. The project road starts from Rajanpur and passes through Fazilpur, Muhammad Pur Dewan, Jampur and terminates at Dera Ghazi Khan. Federal PSDP has allocated Rs.500 million for the completion of this project in 2020-2021.
Dualization and Rehabilitation of DG Khan-DI Khan Section of N-55(208.19 Km) was approved by ECNEC at the total rationalized cost of Rs. 52, 276.53 million with ADB share of Rs. 44,957.82 million. The Project will be completed in 3 years by NHA. The project road starts from DG Khan then passes through Shah Sadar Din, Kala, Shahdan Lund, Taunsa, Tibi Qasrani, Mahra, Paroa and terminates at DI Khan. . Federal PSDP has allocated Rs.500 million for the completion of this project in 2020-2021.
The committee also approved the “Simplification of Planning Commission/ Planning Division Development Processes/Procedure to improve Project Management” (Guidelines).
According to the new procedures, there are reforms in the following six areas: Project Identification and Preparation of PC I, processing and approval of PC I, Project Management and Staffing, Opening of Project Assignment Account, Procedure for release of funds, and Monitoring and Evaluation.
Furthermore, Rehabilitation and upgradation of 79.890 km, Jhaljao-Bela Road at the total rationalized cost of Rs. 11, 118.123 million was approved by ECNEC without any foreign exchange component. The project will be completed in 3 years time by NHA. The project road starts from Jhaljao and terminates at Bela, District Awaran. The road traverses through towns of Augani, Sipai sing, Chauki and finally terminates at Bela. It is expected that the completion of the project will save vehicle travel time and vehicle operating costs of commuters. It will also contribute to ensure efficient movement of trade, goods and traffic in relatively shorter time.
Peshawar Northern Bypass Project-32.2 Km was also approved at the 2nd revised cost of Rs. 21,338.005 million. The project envisages the construction of 32.20 km, 4-lane bypass with service roads on either side, on the northern side of Peshawar city. The total 32.2 Km distance of the Bypass has been divided into three packages for construction purposes. Section I: M-1 Intersection-Charsada Road Interchange (7.60 Km in length). Section II: Charsada Road Interchange-Warsak Road Interchange (11.6 Km). Section III: which has been subdivided in Section 3A and 3B; Warsak Road to Nasir Bagh Road (5.50 Km) – from Nasir Bagh to end point at Takhtabaig Khwar check post (7.50 Km).
Construction of 157 MW Madian Hydropower project, District Swat, under the World Bank (WB) assisted Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Hydropower and Renewable Energy Development Program was also approved by ECNEC at the total rationalized cost of Rs. 79, 374.85 million with FEC of Rs. 57,339.33 million.
ECNEC directed that the sponsors will adhere to the IPP regime followed by NEPRA and all costs will be rationalized as per NEPRA cost Structure. The sponsors will hire financial consultants to negotiate tariff and ensure least-cost generation at an affordable price/ tariff of the Hydropower Project.
Construction of 88 MW Gabral Kalam Hydropower Project was also approved, at an estimated cost of Rs. 36,430.188 million, including FEC of Rs. 8815.785 million was approved by ECNEC with the following directions: the sponsors will adhere to the IPP regime followed by NEPRA and all cost will be rationalized as per NEPRA cost structure. The sponsors will hire financial consultants to negotiate tariff and ensure least cost generation at an affordable price/ tariff of the Hydropower Project. The sponsors will share with CDWP the progress achieved on the milestones given after six months of approval of the project from ECNEC.
ECNEC also approved the Evacuation of Power from 2160 MW Dasu HPP stage I Dasu to Islamabad via Mansehra at the total cost of Rs. 132, 249.84 million with a foreign exchange component of Rs. 112,228.74 million. The project is expected to complete in 5 years time and is proposed to be financed by the World Bank. The main objective of the project is the evacuation of power from 2160 MW Dasu hydro power project to respective load centers of DISCOs by construction of 765 kV double circuit transmission line from Dasu Hydropower project to Islamabad via Mansehra.
ECNEC also approved in principle the Locust Emergency and Food Security Project. World Bank shall provide $200 million for the project.