PR No. 267 Islamabad: December 30, 2015

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) in its meeting chaired by Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar here on Wednesday considered and approved revised cost for Islamabad Safe City Project and also gave nod of approval for procurement/manufacture of railway wagons for coal transportation.

ECNEC was informed that the Safe City Project, of Ministry of Interior was previously approved without any provision for the duties and taxes, on the assumption that the same would be waived off by FBR. The tax exemption was however, not granted by FBR as the government is pursuing the policy of discouraging tax exemptions. The sponsoring Ministry therefore revised the project to include provision for taxes and duties. It was emphasized that there was no cost increase in any of the physical project component. The meeting after detailed discussion accorded approval for revised cost of Rs. 15.865 billion including Rs.4 billion for payment of taxes and duty to FBR.

The project which is nearing completion, envisages physical infrastructure and allied facilities to protect citizens and their properties against security threats and acts of terror. The project initially planned to be implemented in the federal capital, will create an effective and adequate security framework by incorporating strategies preventing unauthorized access of vehicles and individuals entering or operating within the capital territory. It will also strengthen the law enforcement agencies by utilizing state of the art technologies including cameras, integration of multiple national databases of vehicles and individuals with centralized control rooms to monitor control situations aimed at prevention of untoward incidents.

ECNEC also approved the proposal of Ministry of Railways for procurement/manufacture of 585 wagons and 20 bogie brake vans for coal transportation (phase-II) at a total cost of Rs 5,861 million. The project would enable Pak Railways to meet the demand for transportation of 6 million tons of coal from Karachi port to up country for coal fired power plants.

The Finance Minister on this occasion thanked all members for their active participation in meetings of ECNEC during 2015. He stated that frequent meetings of the Committee had been held to ensure that there was no delay in the processing of projects of national importance. He appreciated the keen interest og the members in pushing forward the development agenda of the government. He wished all members the best in the coming year and hoped that they would continue to work with the same dedication.