ECNEC okays Southern Punjab Poverty Alleviation


our correspondent
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Monday approved Southern Punjab Poverty Alleviation among seven projects put forth by Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives. The meeting was presided over by the Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, here at the cabinet division.
According to a statement issued by the ministry, ECNEC considered and approved the Southern Punjab Poverty Alleviation Project (SPPAP)-IFAD assisted, Revised-III at the total cost of Rs15.52 billion with Rs 7.5 billion as the FEC.
Government of Punjab and the International Fund for Agricultural Development are the financers of the project and the aim of the project is to contribute to reduction of poverty in the Southern Punjab Region through improving the living standards of the people, boosting agricultural production and provision of infrastructure such as water supply, irrigation, access roads, sanitation and drainage facilities to the population, read the statement.
The project is expected to be complete by 2023. It was briefed to the ECNEC that the main cause of the revision in the cost of the project was the change in the exchange rate. ECNEC also gave approval to “Higher Education Development in Pakistan” (HEDP) Islamabad, at the total cost of Rs12.08 billion with FEC of Rs 7.72 billion to be provided by World Bank IDA Financing.
The project has five components; Nurturing academic excellence in strategic sectors, supporting decentralized Higher Education Institutes for improved teaching and learning, equipping students and Higher Education Institutions with modern technology, Higher Education Management Information System and Data driven services and technical assistance.
The project is expected to raise the overall quality of Higher Education in the country with the use of IT services. ECNEC also approved the Terbela 4th Extension Hydropower project Revised PC I, at the total cost of Rs122.9 billion. The renewable Energy Development Sector Investment Program (3rd Revised) also got approval by ECNEC at the total cost of Rs12.8 billion with Rs 8.84 billion as FEC. The project shall be sponsored by the Government of Punjab with the financial assistance of Asian Development Bank (ADB).
In today’s meeting the report of the committee constituted by ECNEC (on its meeting of 15-7-2019) for the determination of tariff for PC I based public Sector Power Projects was also presented. According to the submission of the report it was decided that “in future all Power Projects (irrespective of fuel technology) funded through PSDP should comply with NEPRA tariff regime by applying to NEPRA for tariff determination at feasibility, EPC and COD stages, including Balakot Hydropower project.

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