ISLAMABAD (APP) - Minister for Communications Dr Arbab Alamgir Khan Khalil said Friday that Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) has approved Rs 23.566 billion PC-I for the rehabilitation of the 2010 flood affected highways. The Federal Minister expressed these views while addressing the 24th session of the National Highway Council which was participated by Federal Secretary Communications Anwar Ahmad Khan, Chairman National Highway Authority (NHA) Syed Muhammad Ali Gardezi. He said that in addition to this the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will also provide 185 million dollars assistance for the purpose. The Federal Minister said that the last years floods caused a loss of Rs 858 billion to the economy out of which Rs 113 billion has been in the transport and communications sector. The minister said that the NHA this year has had financial constraints because its sphere of activities has widened considerably and funds provided to it by the government are for short of the requirement. Arbab Alamgir Khan said that last year the government allocated Rs 44.637 for NHA under the Public Sector Development Programme, but since a deduction of 50 per cent was made in the said development expenditure, the NHAs share was reduced to Rs 18.5 billion and the NHA has received a total of Rs 18.112 billion only. That is why payments to contractors of construction projects have been delayed and it has also had an impact on the development process, he said. Alamgir said a total of Rs 13.3 billion were due to be paid to contractors by June 30, and a briefing was also given to the Prime Minister in June 2011 in the said context and the PM directed that, during the current year, only such projects may be prioritised whose 70 per cent work has been completed, and a project of importance should come up for consideration, it may be given preference. The Federal Minister, while welcoming the new Chairman NHA Syed Muhammad Ali Gardezi, congratulated him on taking charge.