ISLAMABAD - The Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Friday approved Emergency Plan for Polio Eradication (2016-2018) at the total cost of Rs.31. 816 billion ($337.932 million).

The ECNEC, which was chaired by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, has approved the Emergency Plan for Polio Eradication (2016-2018). The execution of the Emergency plan will be the responsibility of the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination. UNICEF will procure vaccine and will undertake social mobilization activities. The World Health Organization (WHO) will be responsible for conducting the operational activities of the supplemental Immunization Activities (SIAs) including surveillance. During the course of the project implementation, around 698 million doses of polio vaccine will be administered to vulnerable children across the country.

Pakistan along with Afghanistan is the polio endemic country in the world with 52 cases in 2015. To interrupt virus transmission through 5 high quality campaigns during January - May 2016, the National Emergency Action Plan (NEAP) has set the target to end poliovirus circulation by May 2016. The ECNEC in its meeting has approved total eight project cost around Rs109 billion.

The ECNEC also approved the Punjab Economic Opportunities Programme at a total cost of Rs.8783.97 million. The project will benefit 145000 people in the Agricultural/ Rural Sector. The program aims at improving service delivery to farmers and introducing support mechanisms for timely access to quality inputs through establishment of Rural Business Hubs. Government support and spending will be rationalized to ensure it is directed to areas such as research, pest and disease surveillance, efficient water use, alternate energy, agro-processing and creation and administration of regulatory and legislative framework, and addressing externalities such as enhancing sustainability and adopting environment friendly activities. The project will be executed by the Planning and Development Department, Government of Punjab.

The project for the Reinforcement of 220kv Transmission System Network in Islamabad and Burhan also got the nod of approval from the Executive Committee. The total rationalized cost of the project is 3619.43 million rupees including 1802.01 million as the foreign exchange component. The main objective of the project is enhancement in the capacity of transmission system by addition/ reinforcement of 220kv transmission lines along with extensions at respective substations to meet the growing power demand of the country, particularly the IESCO area. The project will be completed in the period of 3 years. NTDCL will be executing agency for the project.

The ECNEC also approved Keyal Khwar Hydro Power Project (128 MW) at the total cost of 26,084.17 million rupees with 9364.47 million as FEC. The location of the project will be District Kohistan, KP and will be executed by WAPDA in the period of 4 years. The project will be interconnected with the National grid by 2.8 km long 132kv double circuit transmission line.

“Water Carrier from Nabisar Reservoir to Thar Coal Field, Block-II” project was also approved by ECNEC. The project will be financed by the Government of Sindh at a total cost of 15,652.69 million rupees through ADP. The project is expected to complete by September 2017. Under the project 35 Cusecs of water for operations of Thar Coal power units will be carried and will help produce approximately 1000 - 1200 MW of electricity.

The Executive Committee of the National Economic council also approved the proposal for replacement of Katki Khaisar Dam in Johan area with Zard Ghulam Jan Dam, Mangocher, Tehsil District Killat under the Construction of 100 Delay Action Dams in Balochistan (Package II for construction of 26 dams). ECNEC also approved the project for the Rehabilitation / up gradation of 45Km Jalalpur-Pirwala-Uch section of Multan-Trinda Muhammad Pannah, Road at the revised cost of Rs.4675 million. National Highway Authority will be responsible for executing, maintaining and operating the project.

ECNEC also approved the Construction of Athmuqam-Sharda-Kel-Taobat Road Section (109.2 km) including two tunnels at Kahori/ Kamser 3.7 km and Challpani 0.6 km Section of Neelum Valley Road, AJ&K. The total cost of the project will be Rs. 17584.993 million including FEC of Rs. 5090 million. The project will be completed by NHA and the same Authority will also be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the project.