The meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Planning Development and Reform was held on Monday under the Chairmanship of Senator Agha Shahzaib Durrani and attended by Senator Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar, Senator Engr. Rukhsana Zuberi, Senator Kauda Babar, Senator Dr. Asad Ashraf and senior officers of the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform along with all concerned.
The agenda under consideration was status of Nai Gaj Dam as considered by Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC), K-IV Water Project and PSDP releases of 2nd quarter (2018-19).
The meeting commenced with a briefing on the Nai Gaj Dam and the Committee was informed that the project was being considered by ECNEC during the meeting held on 25 January, 2019. The project was deferred for being a single province project. It was recommended that Sindh should bear the cost of the project over and above the first revision of 2012 from its own resources. The government of Sindh committed that the command area of 28800 acres land will be developed by them in synchronization with main dam over the project period of two years. It was revealed that regarding clause (iii) of the decision, the advice opinion of Law and Justice Division will be solicited accordingly. Chairman Committee Senator Agha Shahzaib Durrani while deliberating over the issue enquired the reason for delay. The Committee was informed that the main reason for this was design change due to a consultancy error. The Committee stressed the need to investigate the matter thoroughly and determine the entity at fault along with their intentions and submit a report to the Committee.
While discussing the K-IV Water Supply Scheme the Committee was informed that it is a 121 Km Long system from Thatta to Karachi. This was to provide alternate water supply scheme from Kenjhar Lake to Karachi. Conceived in 2007 this project stands incomplete in 2019. Questions of feasibility and reduction in scope were raised and it was revealed that any exemptions made were according to Sindh Public Procurement Rules (SPPRA). Numerous revisions in design, bridge, fencing and ancillary work will be made, the Committee was told; that ordered an enquiry to be conducted based on details of the revisions. Senator Engr. Rukhsana Zuberi was of the view that all details of the project must be sent to Pakistan Engineering Council for scrutiny as it is an autonomous body.
While deliberating over PSDP releases at the end of second quarter 2018-19, the Committee showed dismay regarding nominal PSDP releases for social projects, including health and education. Senator Engr. Rukhsana Zuberi showed apprehensions on the allocation of 27 billion for CPEC and said that it must be increased.
Senator Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar who was chairing the last part of the meeting said that at least 50 per cent releases must be made for all educational institutions in Balochistan and other parts of the country.