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ISLAMABAD: The Executive Committee of National Economic Council (NEC) is to approve enhancement of sanction powers of Executive Committee of National Economic Council and Central Development Working Party (CDWP) for approval of federal projects. According to Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, in order to fast track development process, the sanctioning limits of the federal development fora were proposed to be enhanced to facilitate and empower Ministries/Divisions to formulate and approve development projects and assume responsibility for delivery within given parameters. The sources said the sanctioning powers of Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC), which is chaired by the Minister/Advisor Finance, has been enhanced to Rs 10 billion from Rs 3 billion; likewise, the sanctioning powers of CDWP, which is presided over by Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, have been enhanced from Rs 3 billion to Rs 10 billion. The sanctioning power of Departmental Development Working Party (DDWP), which is chaired by the Federal Secretary of the Ministry/ Division/ Principal Accounting Officer (PAO) has been enhanced from Rs 60 million to Rs 2 billion. The sources said, composition and functions of CDWP and ECNEC have been kept the same. However, composition, functions and procedure for federal level DDWP were changed. The proposal was endorsed by the Secretaries Committee and Executive Committee of the ECNEC on August 22 and August 29, 2019.

The Prime Minister, in his capacity as Chairman ECNEC has already accorded anticipatory approval of enhanced sanctioning powers of various development fora on September 16, 2019 and was notified on September, 2019.

Sharing information about constitution of NEC Sub-Committee for oversight for achieving SDGs in Pakistan, the sources said, in order to achieve the SDGs, it will be in the fitness of things that political leadership at the highest level may supervise the SDGs-related activities in the country to ensure that provincial governments are also carrying out the activities on the same lines so that the baseline and targets for SDGs indicators are achieved in light of the National SDGs framework. The meeting of NEC is held twice a year, whereas SDGs-related activities need supervision with a shorter interval. Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives has proposed that a sub-committee of NEC may be constituted for ensuring national oversight and guidance for implementation of SDGs and for better cross-sectoral and inter-provincial coordination. Sectoral support to the sub-committee would be provided by the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives. The sub-committee of the NEC will submit its progress before the NEC biannually.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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