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ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to implement Prime Minister’s National Programme for solarisation of agri tube-wells project of Rs 377.2 billion in a phased manner and on equal sharing basis to be divided between federal government, provincial government and beneficiary farmers.

On July 11, 2023, Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives briefed the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) that the project was considered by the CDWP in its meeting held on July 6, 2023 which recommended (i) the umbrella PC-I to ECNEC for either of the options.

Tubewells’ solarisation: ECNEC approves PC-1 of Rs377.236bn plan

Option-1 – Rs 377,236.275 million including PSDP share of Rs 139,124.393 million, provincial share of Rs 119,055.393 million and farmers share of Rs 119,055.393 million with a gestation period of three years; option-2 - Rs 90 billion including Rs 30 billion PSDP share and equivalent share by provincial governments, as well as beneficiary farmers with a gestation period of one year; (ii) a broad based Steering Committee under the chairmanship of Secretary, Ministry of National Food Security & Research, further comprising of representatives from M/o Planning, Development & Special Initiatives, Power Division, Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Climate Change and other Provincial Departments especially, agriculture extension and Irrigation Departments, Farmer Associations, environmental agencies and private sector would be constituted for smooth implementation of the project; (iii) The provincial projects will be added after approval from relevant development forums; the province-wise financial share will be added in the sub PC-1 along with commitment from the provinces; and (iv) Ministry of National Food security & Research shall coordinate with the provinces to ensure timely implementation of project activities and installation as per approved quality and quantity.

During the ensuing discussion, the secretary MoNFS&R stated that the technical specifications as modified were also required to be vetted by the Alternate Energy Development Board (AEDB) which has merged with PPIB to be made part of the PC-I.

Moreover, the secretary MoNFS&R shared that additional funding was also expected through returns from carbon credits which would then be evenly distributed amongst all provinces/federation across Pakistan. The provinces of Sindh, KPK and Balochistan also appreciated the initiative for solarization of the tube wells.

Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives submitted to CDWP the recommendation for an umbrella PC-1 to the ECNEC titled “Prime Minister’s National Programme for solarisation Agriculture tube-wells” and approved Umbrella PC-I at a cost of Rs 377.2 billion on equal sharing basis amongst all three stakeholders comprising federal government, provincial governments and beneficiary farmers with the following directions: (i) the project shall be implemented in phased manner.

During current financial year (2023-24) phase-1 of the project at a cost of Rs 90 billion shall be implemented with equal share of Rs 30 billion from each of the stakeholders i.e. federal government, provincial governments and beneficiary farmers, (ii) the provincial governments shall work out availing of carbon credit Facility under the project; and (iii) Tube-wells will be solarised at the same level as their existing capacity under this project.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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