ECNEC approves SPPAP, uplift projects for Rawalpindi, Balochistan


ISLAMABAD: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday approved the Southern Punjab Poverty Alleviation Project (SPPAP)-IFAD assisted (Revised-II) at a total rationalised cost of Rs 7,565.78 million.

The project aims at increasing the household income, employment opportunities, vocational and enterprise training with focus on women, provision of low cost housing and community infrastructure development for the people of Southern Punjab, Prime Minister’s Office media wing said in a press release.

The ECNEC also granted its approval for the establishment of 200-bed center of excellence for obstetrics & gynecology at Rawalpindi (Revised) at a total rationalised cost of Rs 5,301.41 million.

Approval for the construction, land acquisition, affected properties compensation and relocation of utilities for dualisation of Rawalpindi-Kahuta Road (28.4 Km) including 4 lane bridge over Sihala Railway pass, Sihala bypass & Kahuta bypass at a total rationalised cost of Rs 13,012.13 million was also made.

Moreover, the ECNEC also approved upgradation/extension of NTDC’s Telecommunication and SCADA system at a total rationalised cost of Rs 11,638 million, construction of northern bypass of Dera Ghazi Khan (18.9 km) at a total rationalised cost of Rs 4,874.225 million, improvement & widening of Chitral – Boomi – Mastuj – Shandur Road (153 km) at a total rationalised cost of Rs 16,755.5 million.

Approval for the construction of Ziarat Mor-Kach-Harani Road (107.2 Km) and Harnai-Sanjavi Road (55.1 Km) at a total rationalised cost of Rs 8,379.075 million was also accorded. The project aimed at connecting Balochistan to Punjab.

The meeting also approved land acquisition, affected properties compensation and relocation of utilities for KKH Phase-I CPEC (Havelian-Thakot) project (120.12 Km) – (Revised) at a total rationalised cost of R 12,606.62 million.

ECC approves plan to settle power sector payables:

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), with PM Abbasi in the chair, on Wednesday approved a plan to settle power sector payable that would ensure that government-owned companies including PSO, SSGPL, SNGPL, Gencos, DISCOs and nuclear power plants continue to operate normally.

The government would also settle outstanding dues of IPPs after reconciliation and pre-audit in the prescribed manner to ensure transparency.

The ECC also approved procurement target of 6.100 million tons of wheat for the year 2017-18.

The ECC reviewed progress into its earlier decision of directing Trading Corporation of Pakistan to procure 0.3 million metric tons of sugar from sugar mills. It was reiterated during the meeting that the decision was taken by the forum to facilitate sugar mills for timely procurement of sugarcane and to ensure payments to the farmers at prescribed rates.

The meeting was informed that no bid was received against the TCP tender for procurement of sugar at Rs 48 per kg.

Signing of Headquarters Agreement between Government of Pakistan and SAARC Arbitration Council (SARCO) for exemption from duties and taxes to SARCO and its officials was approved.

The ECC accorded approval to a proposal to link price of JP-8 petroleum product with ex-refinery price of JP-1. Issuance of GoP Sovereign Guarantee against financing facility of PKR 13,132 million from local banks for evacuation of power from 1320 MW imported coal power plant at Hub was also approved.

The ECC also approved three months’ salary (October to December 2017) for the employees of Pakistan Steel Mills Corporation (PSM).

NEC approves socio-economic objectives for 12th 5-year plan:

A meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) chaired by PM Abbasi on Wednesday noted the economic indicators that have improved significantly since the PML-N government took over and approved the socio-economic objectives for the 12th Five Year Plan (2018-2023).

The meeting also authorised the Planning Commission to prepare draft plan in consultation with the provincial governments and other stakeholders at the Prime Minister’s Office.

The meeting also approved enhancement of sanctioning powers development of forums of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Gilgit Baltistan and FATA, according to which the sanctioning limit for Development Working Party (DWP) of the three regions had been increased to Rs 400 million while the Development Committees (DC) would be authorised to sanction the development expenditure upto Rs one billion, a press release said.

The meeting was briefed on achievements made so far during the 11th Five Year Plan (2013-2018). It also highlighted various achievements made during the period, it was informed that besides improved law and order and overall energy situation 7,653 MW had been added till December 2017 to the installed capacity of 20,000 MW available in 2012-13.

The meeting was informed that 3,163 MW would be added to the national grid by June 2018. It was also noted that an all-time high level of indigenous oil production was witnessed at 100,698 bbls/day compared to 76,000 bbls/day in 2012-13.

Discussing economic gains made during the 11th Plan, it was informed that the average annual growth rate of GDP which was at 3.0% in 2012-13 increased to around 5% with the decade’s highest growth rate of 5.3% in 2016-17.

The meeting noted that industrial out-put growth has increased from 2.7 to 5.6% with 9 years highest industrial growth of 5.8% in 2015-16. Growth rate of the manufacturing sector rose from 1.6 to 5.0% and the large scale manufacturing grew from 0.6 to 4.7%.

The inflation rate which stood at an average of 12% was brought down to 5.2% during this period. The meeting was informed that early harvest projects of CPEC project were on track with 42 projects being implemented through PSDP 2017-18.

Highlighting large public investments made during the 11th Five Year Plan, the meeting was informed that 1415 billion were invested in the energy sector during 2013-18 as compared to Rs 706 billion in 2008-13.

The investment in road sector rose from Rs 218 billion to Rs 850 billion. It was informed that Rs 118 billion were invested in Higher Education Commission (HEC) as compared to Rs 86 billion during 2008-13.

The meeting was informed that the total national development outlay was increased from Rs 1.042 trillion to Rs 2.247 trillion. Federal PSDP allocation increased from Rs 425 billion to over Rs 1.000 trillion and public investment to GDP ratio increased from 3.5% to 4.3%.

The meeting was also briefed on socio-economic objectives for the next Five-Year Plan along with provincial priorities which would be aligned with national level objectives.

The NEC, while approving socio-economic objectives of the 12th Five Year Plan (2018-2023), authorised Planning Commission to prepare draft plan in consultation with the provincial governments and other stakeholders. The meeting also reviewed the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2017-18 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) National Framework.

The NEC approved SDGs National Framework and provisional sustainable development goals and targets. The NEC advised the provincial governments and federal ministries/organisations concerned to align their policies/plans and allocate required resources in line with national framework.

The meeting also directed provincial governments to set up institutional mechanism at the district level for achieving sustainable development goals.