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ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Shibli Faraz on Monday said the government had announced Rs1,100 billion for the development projects in Karachi, and Rs611 billion would be provided by the federal government.

Addressing a news conference, he said Karachi's Administrator, Corps Commander Karachi and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) would implement the Karachi Transformation Plan, since the Sindh government could not be trusted with those funds.

He said out of these funds, Rs254 billion has been earmarked for cleaning drains and removal of encroachments.

He said the federal government will patronize Karachi Circular Railways project worth Rs300 billion.

"K4 will cost Rs 46 billion and circular railway Rs 300 billion," he said, adding that some projects will be completed in one year while some in two years.

The Information Minister said the federal government will work for the welfare and development of the people of Karachi and Sindh.

Faraz said Karachi is the economic and commercial hub of Pakistan, and yearly timelines have been set for implementation of the projects under the Karachi package.

He said the "incompetence" of Sindh government was on full display in recent rains.

There is a lack of trust in Sindh government, he said.

NFC award's funds are nowhere to be seen in Sindh, he added.

The Information Minister said that for the people of Karachi, Government wants to move forward with consensus and in a cordial environment.

Faraz said that when an agreement is reached, both parties should refrain from making irresponsible statements, "in fact, the Sindh government should act more responsibly".

He said that despite limited resources, the federal government complete these projects and do all that is necessary for the people of Sindh by working with consensus.

Replying to a question, the information minister categorically stated that no "NRO" will be given to "corrupt elements".

Faraz said the previous governments pushed Pakistan into FATF's Grey List.

APP adds: The Federal Government on Monday committed to providing funding of Rs 736 billion for five projects under the Karachi Transformation Plan announced by the Prime Minister last week.

The commitment was finalized during a meeting held here chaired by Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar.

The meeting discussed in detail the implementation of federal component of Karachi Transformation Plan (KTP).

The meeting was attended by Secretaries and Senior Officers of Ministries of Planning, Railways and Water Resources besides National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

The meeting was informed that out of the committed financing, the government would request the Supreme Court of Pakistan to allow use of part of the Bahria Town Settlement Fund (upto Rs125 billion) expected to be available during the three-year period of KTP.

Hence the funding estimated to be arranged by the federal government is Rs 611 billion. The balance Rs 375 billion (out of the total package of over Rs 1100 billion) is shown as responsibility of the provincial government.

According to details, the federal government would provide funding of Rs 254 billion for rehabilitation of River, Nullahs and Storm Water Drains and resettlement of affected people, Rs 46 billion for Greater Karachi Water Supply Project (K-IV), Rs 300 billion for Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), and Rs 131 billion for Railway Freight Corridor, Rs 5 billion for Green line BRT.

Asad Umar asked the relevant officials to prepare time bound action plans for execution of their respective projects and to identify whether any approvals / NOCs were required from the provincial government. He also directed the implementing agencies to indicate their quarter wise financial requirements so that the funding could be earmarked accordingly.

The minister said these projects were to be executed at a fast pace as per the directions of the prime minister.

During the meetings held for finalization of KTP, the provincial government expressed the desire to take responsibility for the KCR project.

However, Railways was a federal subject, as per Part-II of Schedule-IV of the Constitution of Pakistan. Equally importantly the Supreme Court of Pakistan has also conducted hearings with regard to KCR and directed that the federal government / Railways undertake the project.

The federal government is therefore, duty bound to implement this project. As such, the execution responsibility and the financial burden of the same which was estimated at Rs 300 billion has been included in the federal government responsibility under the Karachi package.

It is, however, once again reiterated, that the federal government was looking at working in collaboration with the provincial government for the development of Karachi.

The real objective was to help the citizens of Karachi and not an effort to score political points. The details of the federal & provincial responsibilities & funding were only being issued to remove ambiguities which have arisen in the last couple of days.

NNI adds: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said the situation of Karachi worsened over a period of time due to "political negligence".

PM Khan was talking to Parliamentary Adviser, Dr Babar Awan, who called on him at his office in Islamabad, yesterday. The meeting discussed the Karachi Transformation Plan and some parliamentary issues including Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-related legislation.

The premier said that development of Karachi is on the agenda of the federal government and added that he will provide funds for the uplift of the city.

On the occasion, the PM reiterated his resolve for early legislation over FATF-related bills.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020