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Kacchi Canal’s cost surges 100 percent, Senate body told




  • Planning Commission has said that cost of Kacchi Canal phase-1 project has been increased by around 100 percent to Rs 57 billion from Rs 31 billion. Officials of Planning Commission stated this here on Tuesday during briefing to the Senate sub-committee on Finance that total cost of Kacchi Canal project was estimated at Rs 31 billion in 2006 which has now been revised to Rs 57 billion for the Phase-I. 

    The members of the committee attributed the delay in completion of the project as per schedule as well as increase in the cost to the delay in release of funds. The committee met with Sardar Fateh Muhammad Hassni in the chair to review the development projects in Balochistan from 2002 onwards. Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr Nadeem ul Haq said various factors were responsible for the delay in completion of the development projects timely. 

    The PSDP was frequently slashed for various reasons and there was immense pressure on the Planning Commission to approve new development projects and divert funds for them, said Deputy Chairman Planning Commission while expressing total helplessness. He said that the discipline and priority which was hallmark of the Planning Commission in the past was no longer prevalent and fragmented approach was dominant while approving development projects. 

    As a result, he said that even those projects which have been completed could not be made operational as huge losses were caused to the treasury. One such example, he admitted was Gwadar Port which could not be made operational because the project was aimed at linking with express and coastal highways work on which has not been completed yet. The official of Planning Commission informed the committee that the ongoing mega projects costing Rs 178.0 billion are being implemented in Balochistan with an allocation of Rs 19.0 billion through Federal PSDP 2012-13. 

    A number of mega projects were completed from fiscal year 2002-03 to 2011-12 with overall cost of Rs 37 billion through Federal PSDP. The committee was informed that after passage of seventh National Finance Commission Award (NFC) and 18th Amendment more resources were transferred to the provinces for financing of devolved subjects through their Provincial Annual Development Programmes (ADPs). 

    Thus Balochistan’s own ADP increased from Rs 6 billion in 2002-03 to Rs 36 billion in 2012-13. Therefore, the size of Federal PSDP decreased from Rs 421 billion in 2009-10 to Rs 360 billion in 2012-13 with no substantial decrease in throw forward liability against approved projects as the Federal Government is providing financial support to the vertical programmes of health and population as per decision of Council of Common Interests (CCI) dated 28-04-2011. In addition, the federal government is financing special development packages in Dera Bugti, Kohlu, Quetta and Gwadar. Total allocation for these programmes is Rs 2.4 billion in Federal PSDP 2012-13. 

    Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

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