Phase 1 of SBDP completed: Umar

Minister approves funds for connecting Shadi-Kaur dam with Gwadar pipeline

Our Correspondent September 03, 2021


Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar chaired a progress review meeting on the South Balochistan Development Plan (SBDP) in Islamabad on Thursday.

In line with the vision of Prime Minister of Pakistan for the development of unprivileged and less developed areas in Pakistan, concerted efforts have led to the successful completion of Phase-I of the South Balochistan Development Package (SBDP); culminating in the listing of approved projects in PSDP 2021-22.

In order to ensure implementation of approved projects at an accelerated pace, Planning Minister Asad Umer reviewed the Progress on Phase-II of the Southern Balochistan Development Plan and expressed satisfaction with the progress on SBDP projects.

Reviewing the progress of new projects to be funded through Federal PSDP, the Planning Minister observed that 90 per cent of the projects have been approved and included in Federal PSDP 2021-22 at a rate of Rs234.315 billion out of which Rs25.721 billion have been allocated in CFY.

Likewise, for various approved and ongoing PSDP projects amounting to Rs274.689 billion, allocation for CFY amounts to Rs29.160 billion.

Further on, reviewing the status of PC-I/IIs and corresponding financials, the planning minister observed that the current portfolio of Balochistan in federal PSDP has a thin spreading of funds and desired that a priority list of projects should be prepared so that fast-moving and strategic projects could be adequately funded for timely completion.

He also reviewed the progress on priority SBDP projects. Concerned officials informed that NHA has commenced procurement for three Projects including Construction of Hoshab – Awaran – Khuzdar Section of M-8 at a rate of Rs32 billion, Hoshab-Awaran Section of M-8 at a rate of Rs38 billion and Rehabilitation & Upgradation Awaran - Jhaljao Road at a rate of Rs6.9 billion.

It was further informed that road sector projects amounting Rs24.39 billion and water dams projects amounting Rs48.68 billion have been approved and included in PSDP 2021-22.

Addressing the water shortages especially at Gwadar, Umar said funds have been approved for connecting the Shadi-Kaur dam with the Gwadar pipeline.

Additionally, CDWP has accorded approval for the installation of a 1.2 MGD desalination plant at Gwadar Port through a Chinese grant.

The planning minister directed completion of desalination plant within six to nine months.

While reviewing the progress of 15 projects to be funded through the Non-PSDP model at a rate of Rs20.376 billion, Umar observed that 78 per cent of the projects have been approved while projects amounting to approximately Rs10.188 billion are in various stages of implementation in CFY.

In order to improve digital connectivity in Gwadar, Chaghi and Kech, USF has awarded contracts for districts at the rate of Rs3,200 million.

He was further informed that the contract for High-Speed Broadband Connectivity along M-8 and National Highways is likely to be awarded by the third quarter of 2021.

The minister appreciated that efforts of Tele & Data coverage will increase the livelihood opportunities to more than 0.5 million people of Southern Balochistan.

Umar also reviewed the progress of projects to be funded through the Public-Private Partnership model. He commented that private sector is the real driver of growth of countries across the globe and even today Sialkot-Kharian motorway has been inaugurated by the premier through such a model.

The planning minister was informed that the supply of LPG to the population of Southern Balochistan is a priority project whereby the petroleum division has prepared a draft summary for consideration.

The participants of the meeting further said that AEDB is working on an off-grid electrification of Southern Balochistan districts and a consultant has been procured in this regard.

Fishermen Empowerment Programme had been inaugurated by the prime minister as part of the PM Kamyab Jawan Programme.

The MOU had been signed with four banks for providing loans to eligible applicants.

Secretary Planning Hameed Yaqoob Sheikh, Focal Person for South Balochistan Development Package, and senior officials attended the meeting.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 2021.


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