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ISLAMAABD: A meeting of the National Coordination Committee on Foreign-Funded Projects (NCC-FFP) wanted the Punjab government gives special importance to six slow-moving projects and execute them in timely and efficient manner, so that the people can benefit from them.

The meeting presided over by Minister for Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Omar Ayub was held to review the progress of development projects being implemented by the government of Punjab, on Wednesday.

The committee specifically emphasised on six slow-moving projects, which included ADB Jalalpur Irrigation Project of $275 million, Punjab Intermediate Cities Improvement Investment Project of $200 million, ADB Enhancing Public-Private Partnerships in Punjab of $120 million, World Bank Punjab Tourism Growth Project $50 million, Japan’s Project for Installation of Weather Surveillance Radar in Multan City $18 million, and WB’s Punjab Agriculture and Rural Transformation Program of $300 million.

The minister said that Jalalpur Irrigation Project will contribute to food security and economic growth through enhanced productivity of agricultural commodities and will also help to alleviate rural poverty and uplift living standard of the people in the region through new employment opportunities and transfer of cash from urban to rural areas.

The chairman, P&D Board, Punjab informed that project got initial delay due to land acquisition. However, project implementation is picking up and it will be completed by the first quarter of 2024.

Under this project, 200km new irrigation canals are being constructed in Pind Dadan Khan and Khushab, which will directly benefit over 200,000 rural people. The minister also directed to complete Punjab Agriculture and Rural Transformation Programme as per its revised timelines and expedite approval process of next phase.

Ayub also directed to expedite the finalisation and approval of sub-projects under the Punjab Intermediate Cities Improvement Investment Project. This project will improve the quality of life of the residents in the intermediate cities of Sahiwal and Sialkot, making these cities more liveable and sustainable, which will be achieved by improving urban infrastructure and services delivery.

On Enhancing Public-Private Partnerships in Punjab Project, the government of Punjab informed that significant progress has been made on Multan-Vehari Road under the public private partnership (PPP) modality.

The minister also directed to remove all the bottlenecks of Punjab Tourism Growth Project and Installation of Weather Surveillance Radar in Multan City for their timely completion.

He also highlighted that the government is focusing on timely completion of development projects; therefore, line departments should strictly follow the timelines for expeditious implementation of the projects.

He emphasized that development projects must be executed in timely and efficient manner, so that people can benefit from these projects without any further delay.

He stated that rural development projects will help to alleviate poverty and uplift living standard of the people through new employment opportunities and transfer of cash from urban to rural areas.

The meeting was informed that currently US$ 6 billion 26 projects funded by the ADB, World Bank (WB), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), China, Japan, France and United Kingdom (UK) are being implemented by the Punjab government in agriculture and irrigation, energy, road and transport, urban development, tourism, climate change and disaster management, education, health and social protection.

The meeting was attended by the representatives of the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Finance Division, chairman P&D Board Punjab, and relevant provincial secretaries and project directors.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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