Govt seeks approval for nearly $1b polio eradication plan

Published: January 3, 2019
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ENCEC approval sought for $986m polio campaign. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ENCEC approval sought for $986m polio campaign. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) on Thursday recommended to the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) for approval the Emergency Plan for Polio Eradication worth $ 986.3 million.

Minister for Planning Khusro Bakhtiar, who is also the Planning Commission deputy chairman, presided over the CDWP meeting on Thursday. The meeting was attended by Planning Secretary Zafar Hasan, the Planning Commission members and officials of federal and provincial governments.

The CDWP considered two revised projects including Nai Gaj Dam Project and Emergency Plan for Polio Eradication. The forum also considered two position papers relating to transport and communication and housing and work division.

The CDWP recommended second revision of the Emergency Plan for Polio Eradication. The forum was informed that polio will be eradicated from Pakistan by the end of 2019. However, two years would be required for follow up and complete eradication of its core reservoirs.

Battleground polio — dealing the final blow!

Two international organisations of the United Nations including Unicef and WHO are working for delivery of polio vaccination, supplementing immunisation and interruption of wild poliovirus.

“Polio eradication is a national priority and it needs a holistic action plan to ensure zero polio cases in Pakistan as per national and global commitments,” Bakhtiar said.

He instructed the sponsor agency to devise monitoring mechanism for smooth implementation, obtain provincial governments’ commitment for reimbursement of loans and run a robust campaign jointly with provinces to eradicate the core reservoirs where sewerage water is contaminated with poliovirus.

The minister instructed authorities to provide breakup of social mobilisation and communication expenditures for the next three years, giving one week time to respond to the observations. The project was provisionally recommended to Ecnec for approval.

Nai Gaj Dam Project

Bakhtiar observed that since the project would overcome water shortages in Sindh and irrigate an area of 28,000 acres, it needs to be dealt jointly by the federal as well as Sindh governments.

“Considering importance of the project, its completion should be expedited without further delay,” he said, while instructing the water resources ministry to resolve designs issues and other observations.

The water resources secretary sought two-week time to resolve the issues. However, the minister desired that ministry should come up with a response in a week time.

CJP slams govt over Nai Gaj dam delay

The CDWP returned two projects of transport and communication sector and one project of housing and works due to non-compliance of earlier decisions.

The projects include construction of road over Mali Bund, road from Dumlottee Wells up to link road adjacent to Malir education city, and construction of RCC pre-stressed bridge at Lassan Thakral Logran Breela Daigi-Da-Pattan in Mansehra.

The CDWP also extended deadline for completion of three projects without any cost or scope revision.

The projects include New Minerals Survey Scheme Phase-VI worth Rs1,085.3 million; Nutrition Programme for Sindh with estimated cost of Rs4,117.9 and the E-Office Replication at all Divisions of the Federal Government Projects in Islamabad worth Rs440.3 million.

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