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ECNEC approves $6.806 billion transformational railways project

ISLAMABAD: The Executive committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) has approved the project of Pakistan Railways for up-gradation existing Mainline-1 (ML-1) and establishment of the dry port near Havelian.
According to a press statement issued by the Finance Ministry, the project was approved at the rationalized cost of US$ 6,806.783 million, on a cost-sharing basis between the governments of China and Pakistan.
The ECNEC meeting was chaired by the Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh at the Cabinet Division.
Under the project, the existing 2,655-kilometer track would be upgraded while the speed of passenger trains would increase from 65/110 kilometers per hour to 165 kilometers per hour and the line capacity would increase from 34 to 137/171 trains each way per day.
The statement added ministry of Railways would constitute a project steering committee for effective supervision and implementation of the project. The committee also approved the Pakistan Single Window (PSW) project.
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) would be the sponsoring agency for this project. The total cost of the project has been estimated at Rs. 11,074.16 million including Rs. 9,020 million as a foreign exchange component (FEC).
The project would be completed by June 2023 and it is expected to enhance Pakistan’s global ranking in cross border trade-related indicators.
The project would provide an automated single-entry centralized hub for submission and processing of 90% of the licenses, permits, certificates and other documents (LPCOs) for external trade.
ECNEC also approved the change in cost-sharing ratios of Asian Development Bank (ADB) and its co-financing Partners for “Construction of BRT Red Line Project, Karachi” at the total cost of Rs. 78,384.33 million including FEC of Rs. 66,378.33 million (with cattle-based biomethane as fuel technology).
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