ISLAMABAD -  The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Friday approved 15 projects of worth over Rs211 billion in various sectors.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chaired a meeting of the Ecnec here at Prime Minister’s Office. In line with the government’s commitment to overcome the power shortage in the country, special emphasis has been accorded to power projects. The Ecnec approved following four power sector projects including construction of new 220KV Guddu-Sibbi single circuit transmission line for improvement of Power supply system in South areas at a total rationalised cost of Rs8.366 billion and 500KV Lahore North Substation along with associated Transmission Lines at a total rationalised cost of Rs20.732 billion.

It has also approved Evacuation of Power from 1,410MW Terbela 5th Extension Hydro power project at a total rationalised cost of Rs4.14 billion and Evacuation of Power from 1,224MW Wind Power project at Jhimpir clusters at a total rationalized cost of Rs10.752 billion. The Ecnec also approved the following projects related to social, education, transport & communication; and water resources sectors like Prime Minister’s Laptop Scheme (Phase-III) at a total revised cost of Rs21.335 billion. The prime minister directed HEC to prepare ‘Laptop-for-all Programme’ that shall provide Laptops to all eligible students. Extension of Water Resources for Faisalabad City (Phase-II) at a total rationalised cost of Rs14.636 billion has also been approved.

The meeting has given approval to the Punjab Intermediate Cities Improvement Investment Program in Sahiwal and Sialkot at a total rationalised cost of Rs26.325 billion. Other projects that were approved are: award of Allama Muhammad Iqbal 3,000 Scholarships to Afghan Students by HEC at a total rationalised cost of Rs7.352 billion. The prime minister directed HEC to complete the project within 3 years instead of 5 years ie 1,000 scholarships per year. Rehabilitation/Upgradation and widening of Quetta-Dhadher Section of N-65 (118.322 Km) at a total rationalized cost of Rs7.115 billion.

Construction for improvement and widening of Chitral – Ayun – Bumborate Road (48 Km) at a total rationalised cost of Rs4.6 billion. The prime minister directed the KP government to ensure cultural preservation of the Kalash tribe in collaboration with civil society and non-governmental organisations. Design, Tendering Assistance and Construction of Malakand Tunnel Project at a total revised cost of Rs16.554 billion. Procurement/Manufacture of 820 High Capacity Bogie Freight Wagons and 230 Passenger Coaches for Pakistan Railways at a total rationalised cost of Rs31.194 billion. Procurement/Construction of 6 Maritime Patrol Vessels (MPVs) for Pakistan Maritime Security Agency at a revised cost of Rs16.28 billion. Construction of Garuk Storage Dam, District Kharan, Balochistan at a total rationalised cost of Rs10.511 billion. Establishment of Combined Effluent Treatment Plants for Industrial Areas of Karachi including laying of Interceptor Sewers at a total cost of Rs11.799 billion.