ISLAMABAD (Adeeb Kakar):- The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) has approved five mega projects including, Karachi Circular Railway and allocations from development funds for media campaign to create awareness about the PTI led Government’s policies and projects and others.

The ECNEC met under the chairmanship of the Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Mr. Shaukat Tarin here on Wednesday.

Federal Minister for Energy Mr. Hammad Azhar, Minister for Irrigation Department Punjab Muhammad Mohsin Leghari, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Federal Secretaries and other senior officers from Federal as well as provincial governments participated in the meeting.

Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives submitted a summary regarding revised standardize pay packages for the staff directly recruited under development projects. The ECNEC after due deliberation approved to enhance the Project Pay Scale (PPS) at rate of 75%.

The ECNEC after discussion approved a summary presented by Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives regarding appropriate allocation of total budget outlay in PSDP projects for running effective media campaign to create awareness about Federal Government’s policies, projects and initiatives aimed at socio-economic development and welfare of the people.

This project was approved just two weeks ago, when Prime Minister Imran Khan will face No-Confidence Motion in Parliament, tabled by joined opposition on March 8. Due to this no confidence motion, the political temperature in the country at peak and political maneuvering is going on.

 Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives submitted a summary on Rural Economic Transformation Project (RETP-KP). The project aims at improving income of rural households through multi-sectoral interventions in agribusiness development and employment promotion.  It will be implemented throughout the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (35 districts) to contribute to poverty reduction and food & nutrition security of rural communities. The ECNEC approved the project at a cost of Rs. 30,265.75 million including IFAD loan of Rs. 17565.75 million, the provincial government share of Rs. 4,712 million and beneficiaries share of Rs. 7,988 million with a project gestation period of seven years ( 2022-2029).

Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives submitted a summary on recommendations after holding meetings with representatives of G/o Sindh and Punjab on Greater Thal Canal Project (Phase-II). The project was approved in principle by the ECNEC on 22-12-2021 at a cost of Rs. 38372.225 million. The ECNEC after detailed discussion approved the project on the basis of first four recommendations.

Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives submitted another summary on development, operation and maintenance of Karachi Circular Railway as a modern Urban Railway under Public Private Partnership mode with a total cost of Rs. 201,572 million. The project envisages construction of a 43.225 km dual track urban mass transit system to be built in a period of 3 years. Karachi Circular Railways Management Company (KCRMC) will be responsible to keep an oversight related to the execution, operation and maintenance of the project. The ENEC approved the project after detail discussion. A committee was also formed under the Chairmanship of Finance Minister to review the transaction structure related to Federal Government VGF contribution.

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