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Senior officials of the federal / provincial governments represented their ministries / departments.
In her opening remarks, the DCPC Dr Shamshad Akhtar stated that the Central Development Working Party was one of the important forums to undertake, review and approve the new projects as well as to revise on going development projects. She further maintained that the caretaker government had a limited mandate hence, the current meeting of the CDWP would not approve any new scheme but for the purpose to ensure continuity of the ongoing projects the meeting would only consider technical or financial revision of the project wherever it was necessary.
This would be worth mentioning that out of the total 18 development projects, as well as concept clearance cases, only a revised PC-II for the capacity building of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Power Development Organization worth 47.775 Million Rupees was approved while the other projects belonging to energy, transport & communications, water resources, physical planning & housing, manpower, governance, agriculture and food, and nutrition sectors were deferred for the next CDWP meeting likely to be held under the newly elected governments. This is pertinent to clarify that CDWP is a broad based well represented forum for review of ongoing and the new projects along with their cost. The forum carefully reviews projects and discusses
financial, social and environmental implications of the project before taking a decision. Delays in processing of projects result in cost over runs which is very well known. Holding of CDWP is a normal practice and one of the regular functions of the Planning Commission, which cannot be stalled on the basis of any functional presumptions.
The projects being considered have national, provincial, regional and sectoral importance. Certain projects qualify for multilateral and bilateral assistance which are necessary to be considered in view of lending agencies, board meetings, further delays could result in program/ project slippages. There are apprehensions of diversion of funds from country’s portfolio or delays till next year having a toll on public need and cost.
Some projects on the agenda were already approved which are just a continuation of previous CDWP considerations and guidelines.
This is to further maintain that all the work is being done in the best public interest in line with the mandate and essential requirements. The advice from the Law Ministry also allows us to proceed with the CDWP for the projects that are necessary or ongoing. There is no diversion of fund involved as forbidden by the Election Commission of Pakistan. The Election Commission of Pakistan will be approached if so required in any case.