Mr. Omar Ayub Khan, Minister for Economic Affairs emphasizes on timely completion of foreign-funded projects in Punjab

Islamabad: February 18, 2022

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Mr. Omar Ayub Khan chaired the meeting of National Coordination Committee on Foreign-Funded Projects (NCC-FFP) and reviewed the projects being implemented by the Government of Punjab. The meeting was attended by Mr. Muhammad Akhtar, Provincial Minister for Energy, Mr. Murad Raas, Provincial Minister for Education, Ms. Yasmeen Rashid, Provincial Minister for Health, Mr. Muhammad Jehanzeb Khan, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission, Mian Asad Hayaud Din, Secretary EAD and senior officers of EAD & provincial departments. At present, the Government of Punjab 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, 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, 4 projects as partially satisfactory whereas 3 projects were identified as problematic. On the Public-Private Partnerships Project, the Committee noted that its progress is very slow and despite lapse of almost 4-years, no project has been initiated yet. The ADB has provided US$ 100 million as loan and 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 9 subprojects, 6 subprojects have been completed while the contracts of remaining 3 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 7 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 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. He 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.