ISLAMABAD - Apart from other development projects, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Wednesday approved Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project at a cost of Rs.165.226 billion to be financed through the proposed China EXIM Bank loan.

The Ecnec, which met under the chair of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, approved the proposal of Transport Department Government of Punjab for Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project at a cost of Rs.165.226 billion to be financed through the proposed China EXIM Bank loan was also approved. The loan will be repaid by Government of Punjab.

The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) last week recommended the Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project to the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) for final approval. The project was part of over 50 schemes costing $28 billion, which were signed during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jingping.

The project envisages construction of a 27.1-km long dedicated signal free corridor for train mass transit system in Lahore. The corridor will be capable of accommodating trains running both ways with a capacity of 30,000 passengers per hour.

With the consent of the house, proposal from Ministry of National Health Services regarding PM’s National Health Insurance programme at a total cost of Rs.9102.489 million was approved. A large number of families from the poorest segments in 23 districts of all the provinces will be covered under this health insurance scheme. An estimated premium of Rs.2000 per family annually is proposed for secondary care with addition of Rs.500 per family annually for priority treatment. Secondary hospitalisation component including maternity benefits and day care admissions will be limited to Rs.50,000 per family per year provided within the provincial ADP except FATA, Gilgit, AJK and ICT proposed to be provided through Federal PSDP through this project.

Ministry of National Health services also extended project up to year 2015 for the Expanded Programme of Immunization (EPI), Control of Diarrhea Diseases (CDD which is to cost Rs.26,941.671 million with FEC of Rs.14,195.429 million. The project was approved by Ecnec. It aims at providing prevention against nine diseases (vaccine preventable diseases) and will benefit all regions of the country including FATA, AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Ecnec considered and approved in principle two projects proposed by Ministry of Water and Power for combined cycle power plants of 1000-1200MW each at Haveli Bahadur Shah, District Jhang (PC-1) at an estimated cost of Rs.90,031.69 million including FEC of Rs.76,254.85 million and second at  Balloki, District Kasur (PC-1) at an estimated cost of 88,054.09 million with FEC of 76,254.85 million. Ministry of Water and Power will firm up its numbers regarding the projects and would revert to ECNEC.

The project for the evacuation of power from 1320 MW imported Coal-based Power Plant at Bin Qasim Karachi at total cost of Rs.12,979.56 million including FEC of Rs.7,022.32 million proposed by Ministry of Water and Power was also approved. The project will be implemented in the period of 4 years by construction of 500 kv transmission, 180 km line from the proposed power plant to Matiari.

Health Department Government of Sindh’s proposal for establishment of Child Health Care Institute, Sukkur at a total cost of Rs.4808.99 million with FEC of Rs.4646.198 million was also approved by ECNEC. It will be completed in 36 months.“Necessary Facilities of Fresh Water Treatment, Water Supply & Distribution Gwadar,” a project sponsored by CPEC at total cost of Rs.11,204.00 million was also approved. It is expected to be completes in 36 months.

Proposal by Ministry of Communication for construction of Amri Kazi Ahmad bridge over River Indus (between Hyderabad Bypass & Dadu Moro Bridge) connecting N-5 with N-55 at total cost of Rs.7,189.108 million without FEC element was also approved to be borne through Federal PSDP. Five projects of Pakistan Railway valuing Rs122,944 million with FEC of Rs79,121.64 million already approved in principle from the ECNEC today received final go ahead. The entire cost will be borne by the Railway authorities from the envelop for the next financial year.  At the outset, the meeting offered fateha for the martyrs of the Karachi bus attack incident and offered sympathies to the bereaved families while also praying for speedy recovery to the injured.