Islamabad: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Wednesday gave nod to 10 development projects worth PKR 361.5 billion including 306 km Hyderabad-Sukkur Motorway (M6), according to news sources.
While presiding over the ECNEC meeting through video link, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin permitted the construction of the Hyderabad-Sukkur (M6) motorway. The six-lane fenced motorway project is to be executed on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis. The estimated cost of an M-6 motorway is PKR 191.471 billion.
This project will be included in the coming federal budget and its expected completion is 30 months. Previously, the Public-Private Partnership Authority (PPPA) board proposed a 39% share or PKR 76 billion government funding. However, the public-private share has been increased to 50% respectively.
The PPPA directors have agreed to allocate PKR 92 billion from the budget and toll charges for constructing Hyderabad-Sukkur Motorway (M6) to make it attractive for private investors.
In addition to the M6 motorway project, ECNEC also approved the construction of the Hoshab-Awaran-Khuzdar section of the M-8 project- 168 Km section 2- Awaran Naal at the cost of PKR 32.245 billion. The National Highway Authority (NHA) will build bridges, retaining walls, toe walls, box culverts, and shoulders. The project is expected to be complete in a period of 42 months.
Moreover, ECNEC approved the dualization of the Mardan-Swabi road with PKR 13.024 billion that is expected to be completed by 2023.
For the rehabilitation of the southern, central, and eastern regions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa PKR 28.156 billion has been approved. The restoration of the existing 274 Km highway network was also permitted and is anticipated to be completed by 2023.
Additionally, the National Highway Authority (NHA), the Economic Affairs Division, and Finance Division were asked to collaborate to establish a framework to raise funds for the repair and maintenance of National Highways and Motorways (NH&M).
Aside from this, the meeting approved the Gomal Zam Multipurpose project worth PKR 25.928 billion. The project will be situated on the Gomal river, South Waziristan. It will irrigate 191,139 acres of farmland and will generate 17.4MW electricity. The project falls under the authority of the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA).
ECNEC agreed to a PKR 16.4 billion, 30MW hydropower project at Ghowari on the bank of river Shayok in Ghanche district of Gilgit Baltistan. Additionally, a 20MW hydropower plant was also approved in the Hazel district of Gilgit at the cost of PKR 12.922 billion.
In the meeting, approval was also given for the Rainee canal project that will cost PKR 20.534 billion. It will fall under the authority of WAPDA and will help in irrigating 412,400 acres in Kashmore, Ghotki, Sukkur, and Khairpur districts.
Further, PKR 20.822 billion COVID-19 Response and Other Natural Calamities Control Programmes were approved. The Sindh health department will be accountable for its sponsoring and execution. The project is set to complete by the end of 2023 with shared financing by the federal and Sindh governments.
The Planning Commission was asked to prioritize strategic projects or projects that can be completed in a short time to avoid delays. In the meeting, it was also decided that the provincial government will bear additional expenses for the projects.