The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) has given its nod to two mega projects worth Rs. 345.626 billion. The projects have been recommended to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) for further consideration.
The CDWP meeting was presided over by Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan. Secretary Planning, Hamid Yaqoob Sheikh, senior officials from Planning Commission and Federal Ministries and Divisions also participated in the meeting along with representatives from Provincial Governments through video conferences.
According to details, the meeting floated a project titled, “Implementation of Universal Health Coverage under Health Insurance Program in Punjab”, worth Rs. 332,844.878 million to ECNEC. The main objective of the program includes insurance scheme coverage for 100% population of Punjab for its permanent residents as per CNICs issued by NADRA. The scheme will provide cashless, in-patient healthcare – secondary and priority care services – through an open enrolment policy. There will be no limit to family size. The health insurance program is a hospitalization scheme wherein daycare admission will also be covered. The household members will be able to avail following health covers:
- To access the secondary care hospitalization component including maternity benefits
- A priority care component is limited and the excess of loss coverage is on top of secondary healthcare coverage.
Moreover, the second project approved by CDWP was related to Higher Education Commission (HEC). The project, “Higher Education Development in Pakistan (HEDP) – Revised”, worth Rs. 12,782 million, is a 60-month initiative that aims to support research excellence in strategic sectors of the economy, improve teaching and learning, and strengthen governance in the higher education sector. The project focuses on the areas which severely complicate long-term sectoral and institutional planning, monitoring, and accountability of equitable participation for students from disadvantaged backgrounds; poor quality of teaching and research conditions (including inadequate and irrelevant research, and limited links between higher education institutions and the industrial and services sectors of the economy); and below-par institutional governance and management, especially lack the Higher Education Management Information System (HEMIS).
It is to note that the challenges mentioned are particularly exacerbated for affiliated colleges. The project covers technical assistance for higher education policy development and capacity building through partnerships, in addition to regulation and funding of the higher education sector; project management monitoring and evaluation; and the Higher Education Data Repository and Data-Driven Services.
Deputy Chairman Planning Commission directed the officials concerned to ensure the completion of these projects within their specific timelines.