The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved eight development projects worth about Rs1.22 trillion just days before the end of the government’s constitutional term.
These eight projects include a 1,200 MW nuclear power project worth $148 million ($3.74 billion), the cost of which has increased by 113% since October 2018.
The committee considered and approved the Chashma Nuclear Power Project Unit-5 (5-C) project of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), an official statement said.
The ECNEC meeting chaired by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was informed that the PAEC has sought approval for the project located inside Chashma nuclear power complex where four small projects worth Rs 492 billion are already operational, but the Planning Commission did not allow the project on October 12, 2018 and asked for some clarifications and reforms in this regard.
In addition, ECNEC also approved the Ministry of Communications’ project of Rawalpindi-Kahuta Road (28.4 km), which includes four-lane bridges on Sihala Railway Pass, Sihala Bypass and Kahuta Bypass at a revised cost of Rs23.55 billion.
The committee also approved the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) infrastructure up-gradation project of the Ministry of Defence at a cost of Rs10.69 billion.
The ECNEC also approved the construction of Abdul Khel-Dhaki-Kalorkot Road (45 km) at a cost of Rs14.25 billion.
The forum also approved a project of the Ministry of Water Resources for a storage dam by the Irrigation Department of Balochistan in Kharan district at an estimated cost of Rs27.75 billion.
Apart from this, another project worth Rs61.79 billion of the Ministry of Water Resources was also approved by the ECNEC.
The ECNEC also gave in-principle approval to a project of the Sindh government for construction and rehabilitation of existing schools in last year’s flood-hit Sindh at a cost of Rs12.33 billion on the basis of 50-50 cost sharing between the federal and provincial government.
The committee also approved the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) project submitted by the Planning Commission.