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ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) has approved over Rs270 billion development projects including development, operation and maintenance of Karachi Circular Railway under Public-Private Partnership mode with a total cost of Rs201.572 billion.

The meeting presided over by Minister for Finance Shaukat Tarin has taken up a number of summaries moved by the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives for consideration and approval on Wednesday.

On a summary moved by the Ministry of Planning and Development, the ECNEC approved Greater Thal Canal Project (Phase-II) at a total cost of Rs38.372 billion.

The ministry submitted a summary on the recommendations following meetings with the representatives of the government of Sindh and Punjab on Greater Thal Canal Project (Phase-II) and stated that, in principle, the project was approved by the ECNEC on 22 December 2021 with a projected cost of Rs38.372 billion.

The ENEC meeting also approved another summary of the Ministry of Planning and Development with respect to operation and maintenance of the Karachi Circular Railway as a modern urban railway under Public-Private Partnership mode with a total cost of Rs201.572 billion.

The meeting was informed that the project envisages construction of 43.225 km dual track urban mass transit system to be built in a period of three years.

Karachi Circular Railways Management Company (KCRMC) will be responsible to keep an oversight related to the execution, operation, and maintenance of the project.

Rs273bn KCR project sent to ECNEC

The meeting decided to constitute a committee under the chairmanship of the finance minister to review the transaction structure related to the federal government’s Viable Government Funding (VGF) contribution.

The ECNEC was submitted another summary by the Ministry of Planning and Development with regard to Rural Economic Transformation Project (RETP-KP) aims at improving income of rural households through multi-sectoral interventions in agri-business development and employment promotion.

The meeting was informed that the project would be implemented throughout the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (35 districts) to contribute to poverty reduction and food and nutrition security of rural communities.

The ECNEC approved the project at a cost of Rs30.265 billion including the IFAD loan of Rs17.565 billion, the provincial government share of Rs4.712 billion, and beneficiaries share of Rs7.988 billion with a project period of seven years (2022-29).

The ECNEC also approved the Ministry of Planning and Development’s summary for enhancement of the project pay scale (PPS) at a rate of 75 percent.

The summary was put up revised standardized pay packages for the staff directly recruited under development projects.

The meeting also approved the Ministry of Planning and Development’s summary with respect to appropriate allocation of total budget outlay in the PSDP projects for running effective media campaign to create awareness about federal government’s policies, projects and initiatives aims at socio-economic development and welfare of the people.

The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar, Minister for Irrigation Department Punjab Muhammad Mohsin Leghari, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, federal secretaries and other senior officers from federal as well as provincial governments participated in the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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