ISLAMABAD: The government on Wednesday withdrew its objections over a proposal by the Ministry of Defence and cleared procurement of six patrol vessels for Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) at a cost of about Rs14 billion.
The clearance was given by the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) – a body authorised to clear development schemes worth up to Rs3 billion – for the final approval of Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC).
Earlier, the CDWP had objected that the project would fall in the category of current expenditures and should be bankrolled by the Ministry of Finance. It had also termed the cost high.
However, the CDWP withdrew the objections and recommended the project at a cost of $135 million or Rs13.8 billion for the final approval of the ECNEC, said the officials.
Under the project, the Ministry of Defence would procure four vessels from China while the remaining two will be manufactured domestically.
In total, the CDWP approved ten projects having a total cost of Rs13.8 billion and recommended four schemes valued at Rs48 billion for the final approval of ECNEC, which is headed by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.
The government is adding new projects at a time when it is struggling to fulfill development needs due to scarcity of resources. During the last seventeen months, the government approved 240 projects worth Rs3.8 trillion, further thinning out the resources, according to the Ministry of Planning’s presentation to federal cabinet.
The CDWP also cleared the concept clearance paper for the construction of Mass Rapid Transit System in Peshawar, which will be funded by Khyber-Pakthunkhwa (K-P) government through foreign loan.
After the concept clearance, the K-P government will conduct feasibility study that will determine the potential routes and the cost of the project.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2014.