29 Pakistan funded projects worth $500 million under development in Afghanistan

29 Pakistan funded projects worth $500 million under development in Afghanistan
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ISLAMABAD:National Assembly Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Reforms Wednesday directed the ministry of Planning to keep close monitoring on the development projects specially those relating to health and education sector to ensure transparency and timely completion of the projects.

Chairman of the committee Abdul Majeed Khan Khanankhail said that talent of students from backward districts were wasted due to lack of resources therefore it was government's duty to provide maximum facilitation to those students and increase the number of scholarships in this regard.

He said in all Gwadar projects, local people of the area should be given top priority in provision of jobs and other benefits for uplift of their lifestyle while rest of Balochistan should be given second priority as the whole area was underdeveloped and people were living in very dilapidated conditions.

He also assured the ministry for extending full support by the NA panel in approval of such social welfare projects.

Earlier briefing the committee about status of development projects under Public Sector Development Program (PSDP), Advisor ministry of Planning said that at present, the Pakistani government's funded 29 different projects were under implementation in Afghanistan and total worth of the projects was over US $500 million.

He said the ministry was closely monitoring the development projects and for this purpose it had allocated Rs 125 million under PSDP 2017-18 for monitoring of PSDP financed projects.

He said under PSDP 2017-18, an amount of Rs 10.27 billion was allocated for 34 projects of ministry of Planning out of which Rs 1.832 billion have been released so far.

Deputy Director Media CPEC project, Shoukat Khattak informed the committee that work on 300 MW coal based power project in Gwadar was likely to be initiated in a month or two as the land acquisition work for the project had almost been completed while an application had been sent to NEPRA for finalizing of tariff of the electricity.

Further, he informed that water issue in Gwadar city would be resolved soon as various steps were being taken to mitigate the issue on priority.

He said since January 1, a water desalination plant under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) had started providing 200,000 gallons of water daily to the residents of Gwadar at very cheaper rate at about Rs 0.8 per gallon as compared to Rs 4 per gallon being provided through tanker supply.

Project Director of Development Communication Project, Asim Niazi said that an amount of Rs 135 million had been released out of total allocation of Rs 212 million during the year 2017-18.

He said under the project, journalists from across the country were being taken to the project site to provide them the first hand information about the projects.APP

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