The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) greenlit a series of nine development projects amounting to approximately Rs 367 billion. The meeting, chaired by Caretaker Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar, saw the approval of various initiatives to address critical issues across multiple sectors.
Ecnec Approves Development Projects
Notably, Ecnec deferred the Rs38.4 billion Greater Thal Canal Project due to insufficient consultations with the provinces, underscoring the importance of collaborative decision-making.
Among the approved projects, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Food Security Support Project took center stage with a budget of Rs20.098 billion. Last week, the Asian Development Bank pledged a $80 million concessional loan for the initiative, marking a part of its $1.5 billion commitment to support Pakistan’s recovery from the 2022 floods. The project aims to enhance climate resilience, improve food security, and uplift rural farm households, focusing on institutional capacity enhancement in flood-damaged districts.
Furthermore, Ecnec sanctioned the Rs86.08 billion Sindh School Rehabilitation Project under the Flood Restoration Programme, with funding from the ADB. The Sindh government’s contribution stands at Rs7.562 billion, aiming to rehabilitate 1,607 schools across five severely affected districts.
Other approved projects include the Rs32.835 billion Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Human Capital Investment Project (KP-HCIP) for education infrastructure rehabilitation, the Rs16.8 billion Prime Minister’s Laptop Scheme implemented through the Higher Education Commission (HEC), and a Rs24.225 billion health component of the KP-HCIP focusing on improving primary care health services.
The Women Inclusive Finance project, supported by the ADB with a budget of Rs31.413 billion, aims to reduce constraints on Pakistani women in accessing credit, promoting financial inclusion.
Ecnec also gave the green light to the Ministry of Railways’ “Thar Coal Railway Connectivity” project and the Peshawar Northern Bypass Project (PNBP) at a cost of Rs53.73 billion, without any foreign exchange component. Additionally, the Rs74.62 billion Sindh Barrage Improvement Project (Phase-II) for the rehabilitation and modernization of Sukkur and Guddu Barrages was approved.
These diverse projects underscore the commitment of the government to address crucial issues across education, healthcare, infrastructure, and economic development, paving the way for a more resilient and prosperous Pakistan.