Islamabad: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Friday approved seven development projects at an estimated cost of Rs125 billion, including distribution of 400,000 free laptops at public expense.
The meeting, presided over by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, rejected a host of projects of Pakistan Railways as proposals were not well prepared. The Ecnec directed their resubmission after clearance by a high level committee.
The seven approved projects related to education, communications, infrastructure and water supply.
The meeting approved the Prime Minister’s laptop scheme under which 400,000 computers would be distributed over a period of four years, among deserving students acquiring higher education in any public sector university or institute across the country.
The Ecnec also approved, in principle, Rs21.241bn for rehabilitation and modernisation of Guddu Barrage under Sindh Barrages Improvement Project Phase-1.
The meeting also approved Extension of Water Resources for Faisalabad City-Phase-I (Revised PC-1) at a cost of Rs6.020bn.
The Ecnec also approved widening and strengthening of National Highway N-70 (Rakhi Gajj-Bewata) 32.651kms (East West Road Improvement Project N-70) at the revised rationalised cost of Rs18.453bn.
It also approved Rs4.789bn for Dualisation and Improvement of Sohawa-Chakwal Road Project.
The Ecnec also approved construction of bridge across river Chenab linking Shorkot and Garh Maharaja at a reviewed and reduced cost of Rs4.048bn.
The meeting also sought report on issues regarding the Khajori-Bawata sector of road project.
The meeting also approved rehabilitation and reconstruction of 652km road network all over the country, damaged in 2010 floods. The cumulative cost of these roads was set at Rs49bn.
Among others, these roads also include Karachi-Lahore-Peshawar-Torkham (243.96km), Sukkur-Sibi-Quetta (17km), Kuchlak-Zhob-DG Khan (49.68km), Kotri-Larkana-DG Khan-DI Khan-Peshawar (87.674km), Gwadar-Hoshab-Awaran-Khuzdar-Ratodero (12.77km).
While taking up various projects in the railways sector, the Ecnec directed the Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal to have detailed deliberations on the proposed projects along with Minister for Railways and officials concerned to chalk out a comprehensive programme of development projects which could be taken up for approval by the Ecnec.