ISLAMABAD - The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) on Tuesday approved several development projects worth Rs74.48 billion in various sectors.

The CDWP meeting, presided over by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal, also recommended Economic Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) to consider approval of six mega projects in Energy, Transport Communication and Health sectors. The CDWP also accorded concept clearance to two foreign funded projects of worth Rs27.55 billion, proposed by the Sindh government.

In Energy sector, the CDWP recommended three mega projects of worth Rs27 billion to Ecnec, including construction of new 132 kv grid stations and transmissions lines, distribution rehabilitation (energy loss reduction) and distribution expansion. All the three projects were proposed by Sukkur Electric Supply Company to upgrade the power distribution system and ensure loss reduction by installation of new grid stations, transmission lines and transformers in Sukkur, Jacobabad and adjacent districts. The minister, while approving the schemes, instructed that all the three projects must be completed in one year period.

The CDWP approved two projects in Health sector including a mega project Prime Ministers National Health Programme worth of 8.179 billion and upgradation of non-radiation modern endoscopy diagnostic services in Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (SZABMU) Islamabad, worth 465 million.

The minister directed that deserving families should be facilitated through PM’s National Health Programme. He also instructed that the authorities concerned should work out a detail five year plan to assess the financial impact of the initiative and ensure that resources required and extension in the programme must match each other.

In Transport and Communication sector, the CDWP has approved a project of construction of Lahore Sialkot Motorway (LSM) Link (4-Lane) via Narang Mandi to Narowal, 73.3 Km worth Rs15.98 billion with observation to rationalise the cost.

It also approved a project of widening, improvement and rehabilitation of remaining portion from National Highways N-25, Kararo-Wadh Section worth Rs1.7 billion, instructing for rationalisation of cost. The CDWP also recommended widening and improvement of Ghalanai-Muhammad Ghat Road project at Mohmand Agency, FATA worth Rs4.39 billion to Ecnec.

In Transport and Communication sector, the CDWP also approved reopening of rail car from Rawalpindi-Kohat on experimental bases, worth Rs381 million. The project was initiated following the prime minister’s special directives.

In Higher Education, the CDWP also approved four projects which include three projects in Balochistan. A project of strengthening University of Education, Lahore was discussed in detail where the CDWP approved only one portion of the project to strengthen Lahore-based campuses of this university.

The minister instructed the officials of Higher Education Commission to ensure consolidation of resources and discourage mushroom growth of universities and its networks. He further directed the HEC officials to finalise a national framework for degree awarding institutes and conduct an academic audit for ensuring quality.

The CDWP also approved project of University College of Dera Murad Jamali, Nasirabad, worth Rs1.50 billion. It also approved establishment of University College of Zhob under University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences worth Rs1.2 billion.

The CDWP has asked for reconsideration of a project provision of quality education opportunities to the students of FATA and Balochistan in Cadet Colleges, Poly Technical, Vocational and other institutes, instructing that instead of HEC, the Ministry of Education should propose this initiative for speedy implementation by ensuring coordination with FATA and Baluchistan’s administration.

It also approved establishment/upgradation of Gwadar University project worth Rs67 million with instruction that the master planning/designing should be consulted with foreign experts already engaged in master planning of Gwadar City.

In Industries and Commerce, a project of worth Rs490.036 million, titled 1000 Industrial Stitching Unit (Phase-1) was approved by CDWP, instructing for PC-1 revision. A committee was formed to report within 30 days and rehash over the entire project to ensure its maximum benefits for youth of the country.

In the Physical Planning and Housing sector, the CDWP approved two projects of construction of Intelligence Bureau (IB) offices along with CPEC and construction/extension of residential accommodation of IB Academy worth Rs580.883 million.

However, it instructed for revision of two projects in housing sector including extension of federal lodges at Karachi and consultancy services for Margalla International Convention Center, Islamabad.

In Water Resources, the CDWP approved project of correcting approach to control erosive action along its right bank worth Rs290.8 million with instruction for cost revision. It also approved a project of capacity building of the office of Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Waters, worth Rs635.36 million with observation to rationalise the cost and rehash the PC-1.

On the occasion, the minister said that to make this institution a vibrant one, capacity building and providing modern equipment is need of the day. He instructed that the institution should ensure linkages with line ministries and technical institution to ensure water security of Pakistan in future. The CDWP also approved two projects of small dams construction in Khyber Pakhtunkwa, worth Rs2.9 billion. Both the dams will be constructed in Mansehra with the funding of federal government, where the KP government will fund the land acquisition.

The CDWP also recommended a position paper of construction of Rathoa-Haryam Bridge and it’s approached across Reservoir Channel on Mirpur Islamabad to Ecnec. The CDWP accorded concept clearance to two foreign funded projects of worth Rs27.55 billion, proposed by the Sindh Sindh. The projects include Flood Emergency Reconstruction Project phase-2 and rehabilitation of Sukkar Barrage Improvement Project Phase-1.Both the projects are funded by World Bank and Asian Development Bank.