ISLAMABAD - The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Thursday approved four developmental projects worth of Rs 67.369 billion.

The Ecnec, which met under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, has approved four projects. Sources said that construction of Dasu Hydel Power Project worth of Rs 735 billion was not discussed in the meeting, as it was not part on the agenda of the meeting.

The Ecnec considered and approved Kurram Tangi Multipurpose Dam Stage-1 (Kaitu Weir Irrigation and Power) Project, located in North Waziristan Agency FATA, at a reduced cost of Rs.12,662.60 million including USAID grant in aid of Rs.9,975 million. The main objective of the project is to provide 76.15 cu-ft/sec assured irrigation water supply to bring 16,380 acres of land under cultivation in FATA and generate 18.9 MW electricity. Finance Minister said that since the location of the project is in FATA area and it is necessary for socio-economic uplift of North Waziristan, therefore, it should be put on fast track. The Finance Minister added that the project will also provide water for domestic use of 48,500 population.

Ecnec also considered and approved in principle the revised PC-I of Sindh Water Sector Improvement Project Phase-I (WSIP-I) in the command area of Ghotki feeder, Nara, Fuleli and Akram Wah canals at a rationalised/ reduced cost of Rs.30,353 million including IDA loan of Rs.28,840.4 million. The Government of Sindh will return IDA loan from their own resources and reflect its financing in their provincial ADP. The objective of the project is to improve the effectiveness and operational efficiency of water distribution by ensuring the safety of the canal system and delivering due share of water to the farmers at the tail end of the irrigation system.

Moreover, Ecnec also approved revised PC-I of Gomal Zam Multipurpose Project at revised/rationalised cost of Rs.20,626 million which include USAID grant in aid of Rs.10,721.88 million ($97 million). Main objective of the project is to harness flow water and conserve the perennial flow for providing assured irrigation water supply of 848 cusecs (24 cusecs) to irrigate 191,139 acres of land including 28,053 acres additional land which falls under the command of Waran Canal System and generate 17.4MW electricity.

Ecnec considered and approved Gomal Zam Command Area Development and On-Farm Water Management for High Value and High Efficiency Agriculture Project, located in DI Khan and Tank Districts, at a rationalised cost of Rs.3.73 billion including USAID grant in aid of Rs.2.2 billion. The project is devised to develop the command area of Gomal Zam Dam through 848 cusecs of sustainable irrigation water supply which will bring 191,139 acres of land under cultivation. The completion date for project is fiscal year 2014-15. The meeting was attended by Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Pervez Rashid, Minister for Science and Technology, Zahid Hamid, Minister of State for Information Technology, Ms Anusha Rehman, Adviser to Chief Minister Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah and senior officials of the Federal and Provincial Governments.