The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Wednesday approved Prime Minister’s Youth Laptop Scheme-HEC (Phase-III) at a cost of over Rs. 10 billion.
The meeting chaired by Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Ishaq Dar also approved several other projects.
The ECNEC approved the Prime Minister’s Youth Laptop Scheme at a cost of Rs. 10,827.28 million in order to provide an opportunity to young and talented students studying in public sector higher education institutes across the country including AJK and GB. Under the envisaged Phase-III project, 100,000 laptops would be distributed among meritorious students in two years.
The meeting also approved National Development Internship Programme. The programme is in line with the vision of the prime minister to mainstream the youth and involve them in national development. The programme aims to enhance the capacity of young Pakistanis in their relevant educational areas and enhance their practical and technical skills and provide an opportunity to introduce fresh ideas in the development sector of Pakistan. The expenditure of the programme will be met from the development projects being implemented under PSDP.
The Planning Commission submitted a summary regarding Indus Highway (N-55) additional carriage project. The ECNEC considered and allowed 15 percent of procurement for one of the four components of the project in US dollars as per Asian Development Bank (ADB) guidelines. The project was already approved by the ECNEC on 1st October 2022 at the cost of Rs. 44,703.89 million with ADB share of Rs. 40,233.50 million ($241.27 million).
The ECNEC considered and approved the construction of the northern section of Ring Road (Missing Link) from Warsak Road to Nasir Bagh Road- project at the rationalized/reduced cost of Rs. 17,139.007 million without any FEC, fully funded by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.
The meeting also considered and approved the provincial project “Construction of Gravity Flow Water Supply Scheme Mansehra” at a cost of Rs. 18,583.41 million, to be executed by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government. The project aims at the provision of a gravity-flow potable water supply system for Mansehra to fulfill the present and future needs up to 2040. The project on its completion will provide the required potable water supply facilities to the population of 201,249 persons for the designed period.
The ECNEC approved PC-1 of the Post-Flood 2022 Reconstruction Plan: Resilience, Enhancement and Livelihood Diversification in Baluchistan, the project at a total cost of Rs. 88,000 million ($400 Million) funded by the World Bank.
The meeting approved Special Development Initiatives for backward/poor districts in the country at a cost of Rs. 40 billion on a 50:50 basis between federal and provincial governments. The project aims to support interventions to bring noticeable change in the social and economic fabric of these districts.
The ECNEC approved overseas scholarship for MS/M.Phil leading to Ph.D. in selected fields (Phase-III) at a cost of Rs. 22,214.578 million with FEC Rs. 21,402.142 million to give a chance to young Pakistani scholars to pursue higher education at some of the world’s leading universities.
The meeting approved a project regarding the provision of Higher Education Opportunities for students of Balochistan and erstwhile FATA (Phase-III) at a cost of Rs. 8,663.350 million with the aim to provide equal education opportunities to the talented students of the disadvantaged areas to bring them at par with developed and developing areas of the country creating a core of talented and qualified manpower.
The ECNEC considered and approved Sindh Human Capital Investment: 1000 days-Integrated Health and Population programme at a total cost of Rs. 61,600 million including foreign funds of Rs. 55,000.058 million by the World Bank to improve utilization and quality of reproductive, maternal, and neonatal, child and adolescent health and nutrition services, and women economic empowerment through skill development and micro-financing to a target population of 9.7 million in selected districts of Sindh province.
The meeting also approved Flood Response Emergency Housing Project at a rationalized cost of Rs. 160,000 million including a World Bank loan of $500 million to support the flood-affected people in all districts of Sindh in the climate-resilient reconstruction and repairs of their houses and helping them overcome the misery and trouble inflicted upon them during the recent rain disaster.
Federal Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Communications Asad Mehmood, Federal Minister for Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar, SAPM on Finance Tariq Bajwa, federal secretaries and other senior officers from federal and provincial ministries and departments participated in the meeting in person while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Finance Minister Taimur Saleem Khan Jhagra and Punjab Finance Minister Mohsin Leghari attended the meeting through zoom.