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Omar Ayub emphasizes on timely completion of foreign-funded projects in Punjab

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan chaired the meeting of National Coordination Committee on Foreign-Funded Projects (NCC-FFP) and reviewed the projects being implemented by the Punjab government.

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The meeting was attended by the Punjab Minister for Energy Muhammad Akhtar, the Punjab Minister for Education Murad Raas, the Punjab Minister for Health Dr. Yasmeen Rashid, the Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Muhammad Jahanzeb Khan, the Secretary Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Mian Asad Hayaud Din, and senior officers of EAD & provincial departments.

At present, the Punjab government is implementing 24 development foreign-funded projects amounting to US$ 6,079 million financed by Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank (WB), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), China, France, Japan, and United Kingdom.

During the meeting, the NCC-FFP also reviewed the compliance status of committee’s previous decisions.

Out of 24 projects, the progress of 17 projects was rated as satisfactory, four projects as partially satisfactory whereas three projects were identified as problematic.

On the Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) Project, the Committee noted that its progress is very slow and despite lapse of almost four years, no project has been initiated yet.

The ADB has provided US$ 100 million as loan and the FCDO-UK has committed US$ 19.6 million as grant for this project.

The representative of PPP Punjab informed that the bidding process for Lahore Water Metering Subproject has been completed and the Concession Agreement is expected to be signed by the end of February 2022.

He further updated that another subproject “Multan-Vehari Road” has been approved by PPP Board and the Expression of Interest (EOI) has been published.

Accordingly, the procurement process is expected to be completed by May 2022.

The Committee also showed its serious concerns on the slow progress of Water Resource Project, Faisalabad.

French Development Agency (AFD) committed US$ 112 million for this project in 2019 but no disbursement is made yet.

The representative of WASA Faisalabad informed that this project is now picking up the pace.

The NCC-FFP also reviewed Punjab Tourism for Economic Growth project funded by WB.

The Committee highlighted that out of US$ 50 million, only US$ 16 million has been disbursed since 2017 due to slow progress of the project.

The representative of Tourism Department, Punjab informed that revised PC-I has been approved.

Out of nine subprojects, six subprojects have been completed while the contracts of remaining three subprojects have been awarded.

The Committee also deliberated on the partially satisfactory projects including Punjab Agriculture & Rural Transformation Programme (US$ 300 million) & Punjab Green Development Program (US$ 200 million) funded by WB and Punjab Intermediate Cities Improvement Investment Project (US$ 200 million) & Punjab Urban Development Project (US$ 15 Million) funded by ADB.

Under Punjab Intermediate Cities Improvement Investment Project, urban services including water supply, waste management, streets, parks and bus terminals will be upgraded and augmented in Sialkot & Sahiwal.

It was further informed that under phase-II, preparation of sub-projects in seven other cities of Punjab i.e. Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Rahim Yar Khan, Rawalpindi and Sargodha are under process.

The Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub appreciated the efforts of line departments to expedite the implementation of other foreign-funded projects.

The minister directed the line departments to strictly follow the timelines for expeditious implementation of the development projects.

Omar Ayub emphasized that development projects must be executed in timely and efficient manner so that people can benefit from these projects without any delay.

The minister further directed to enhance the capacity of Project Management Units and prepare Gantt Charts for effective monitoring of the projects.

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