The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) under the esteemed chairmanship of Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Special Initiatives, Ahsan Iqbal was convened on Thursday to review and approve vital development projects.
During the meeting, the CDWP cleared a total of 10 projects with a combined value of Rs. 114.5 billion. These projects spanned various sectors, including energy, governance, health, higher education commission, transport, and communication.
Out of the 10 projects, three have been recommended to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) with a total cost of Rs. 96 billion approximately. Furthermore, the CDWP approved Seven projects worth Rs. 18.5 billion during the session.
The meeting was attended by high-ranking officials, including the Secretary of the Planning Ministry, the Chief Economist, Members of the Planning Commission, and representatives from various ministries and divisions. Their presence ensured comprehensive deliberations and informed decision-making.
One of the notable projects recommended to ECNEC is the “Evacuation of Power from 800 MW Mohmand Dam Hydro Power Plant to the National Grid.” With an estimated cost of Rs. 13,822 million, the project aims to construct 220 kV double circuit transmission lines, enabling the dispersion of power from the under-construction 800 MW Mohmand Dam Hydro Power Plant, located at the Swat River in the merged district of Mohmand, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The project is proposed to be financed through the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and is approved subject to the rationalization of the cost.
Another significant project, the “Sindh Solar Energy Project (SSEP) (Revised),” with a total cost of Rs. 22,005.637 million, has been principally recommended to ECNEC, subject to fulfilling observations from the CDWP forum. This project, financed through a soft loan from the World Bank, aims to support the scale-up of solar power in Sindh Province, improve energy security, increase access to electricity, and fulfill Pakistan’s international commitments on climate change.
During the CDWP meeting, another crucial project titled “Cyber Security For Digital Pakistan (Phase – 1) Revised” was approved. The project, with a total cost of Rs. 1,798.840 million, aims to strengthen cybersecurity measures in the country as Pakistan embraces the digital era.
Among the projects approved by the CDWP, the “Technical Support Unit-PIDSA (Revised)” project stands out, with a total cost of Rs. 95.516 million, to be financed out of the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP). Additionally, the CDWP granted approval to the “Up-gradation of Nuclear Institute of Medicine & Radiotherapy (NIMRA), Jamshoro” project, valued at Rs. 1,847.530 million, which proposes the replacement of outdated equipment and the addition of new facilities for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients. Financing for this project will be sourced through PSDP.
Furthermore, the CDWP approved the “Establishment of University of Baltistan Skardu (Revised)” project, with a total cost of Rs. 3,608.503 million, to be financed through PSDP. This project aims to provide quality education to 5,000 students in a conducive learning environment, creating job opportunities for 108 highly qualified faculty members and 98 management staff.
The Ministry of Railways also presented two significant projects that received approval from the CDWP. The first project, “Immediate Track Safety Works on Tando Adam-Rohri Section in Sukkur Division,” has a total cost of Rs. 4,830.437 million, while the second project, “Immediate Track Safety Works on Rohri-Khanpur Section in Sukkur Division,” is valued at Rs. 4,875.461 million. Both projects focus on the rehabilitation of obsolete tracks, ensuring safety and efficiency in railway operations. The financing for these projects will be provided through PSDP.
Additionally, the CDWP granted approval to the project titled “Construction of Groyne Wall / Break Water and Allied Works at East Bay (Demizer) Gwadar (Revised)” with a total cost of Rs. 1,473.950 million. The revised project aims to construct a 1.6-kilometer-long Groyne Wall / Breakwater Wall at Demizer in the East Bay of Gwadar Port. This development project will enhance the infrastructure and facilities at Gwadar Port, facilitating maritime activities and contributing to the growth of the port as a significant trade and economic hub.
Finally, the “New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA) Project (Revised)” was submitted before CDWP with a total cost of Rs. 60,208.765 million. The Project is principally approved subject to the rationalization of the cost. With rationalized cost, it would be submitted before ECNEC.
This ambitious project will replace the existing airport in Gwadar and is financed through grants from the Government of China, PSDP, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), and an Omani Grant. The NGIA will play a pivotal role in establishing Gwadar’s strategic importance, meeting the forecasted increase in aviation activity, and supporting the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
In relation to the New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA) project, the Planning Minister emphasized the importance of providing ample job opportunities to the local population of Gwadar. Furthermore, he emphasized that special attention should be given to prioritizing and expediting the completion of critical components of the Gwadar Airport project.