ISLAMABAD - Central Development Working Party (CDWP) here on Thursday approved 27 projects worth Rs2,948.159 million for social sector development and energy generation for socio-economic uplift of masses in the country.

The CDWP, which met under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Professor Ahsan Iqbal, also recommended 6 developmental projects of Rs172,021.819 million to Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) for approval.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms Division here on Thursday said that 5 projects were deferred for further consideration in the meeting. The CDWP approved mega projects include the establishment of 3 universities, energy generation projects for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit Baltistan.

The meeting also approved projects of model police stations and national games besides recommending the ECNEC for providing 100,000 laptops for the students of public university under Prime Minister Laptop Scheme.

Speaking on the occasion, the minister said that ‘laptop Scheme’ has helped students to become IT entrepreneurs”. He emphasized that the Laptop Scheme should only target the public sector universities where the majority of students cannot afford laptops. He appreciated the transparency and merit based mechanism devised by Higher Education Commission for the distribution of the laptops.

Under the scheme 100,000 laptops have been procured to be distributed among students.

The CDWP also approved establishment of Engineering Faculty at Gilgit and Skardu Campus which will facilitate majority of talented students from Gilgat-Baltistan with limited resources to equip themselves with higher professional engineering education.

The minister said that the starting of new programmes in engineering disciplines is a gift of the government for the Northern Areas youth and development of these areas.

Completion of work on academic blocks of Hazara University Mansehra was also approved since the earthquake in 2005 many classes were conducted in prefabricated buildings which were nearing to expiry limit. The completion of the subject building will enable University to accommodate 32 functional departments.

Approving the establishment of Islamabad Model Police Stations, the minister said that thana culture must be transformed in the capital to make it a model for the rest of the country.

He said that Islamabad Police Stations should be symbol of smart and community policing. “Model Police Stations are not about brick and mortar but a concept of community friendly policing”, he said.

He said the Prime Minister’s National Health Insurance Program was deferred due to lack of consensus with the provinces. The project should have the firm estimates of the cost before it can be approved, he added. Ahsan Iqbal said that every project must have clearly defined before bringing it to CDWP for approval. “CDWP will not give blanket approval to any project.

The minister said that every project must have a detailed feasibility and business plan to make it viable and sustainable adding that there has to be specific and tangible pay off for every penny spent from public spending.

While approving the project for holding of national level games, the minister said that the games must have national scope where future stars will be identified.

He regretted that Pakistan is no more on victory stands even in Asian Games. “National Games will be instrumental for reviving sports culture and lifting the quality of the games by providing competition at national level to our sportsmen.” he said.