ISLAMABAD, Oct 2 (APP): The Prime Minister Inspection Commission (PMIC) directed the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to analyse the utility and impact of the “National Programme for the Improvement of Water Courses” on the livelihood, poverty reduction and improvement of the rural economy in the country.The PMIC met here at the Prime Minister Secretariat with its Chairman Malik Amjad Ali Noon in the chair and was attended by its members Rukhan Abdullah Gardezi, Athar Mehmood Khan, A.B.Awan, Tanvir Butt, Dr.M.Aslam and Sikandar Aqeel Ansari.
The officials of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture Abdul Gaffar Arian (Monitoring and Evaluation ) and Tahir Anwar, Director General Water Management briefed the committee about the progress of National Programme for the Improvement of Water Courses (NPIWC).
The meeting noted that after the 18th Constitutional Amendment and 7th NFC Award the provincial financial resources have increased and called upon the provinces to initiate projects from their own sources.
The meeting also urged the Met office and Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) to determine the causes of the recent floods which caused severe damage to the agriculture and infrastructure and take steps to avoid losses due to such kind of calamities in future.
He said that in the next meeting on the programme, which would be convened soon, representatives of the provincial agricultural departments would also be invited.
On the directive of the Prime Minister, PMIC has initiated inspection, monitoring and assessment of the pace of work and quality of the Public Sector Development Projects (PSDP) relating to power, water, health and agriculture and food sectors.
The PMIC will submit a comprehensive report on these projects to the Prime Minister. The officials of the Ministry of Food & Agriculture gave a presentation on “National Programme for Improvement of Water Courses” in the meeting.
The umbrella project aims to improve 86,003 water courses (length to be lined 76,610 KMS). The project was approved in December 2004 by the ECNEC at a capital cost of Rs. 66.4 billion with Federal Government’s share of Rs.50.7 billion. However, the Federal Government has provided Rs. 87.4 billion. The project has improved 66,500 water courses against the target of 86,003.
The overall objectives of the project are:
i) employment generation, ii) empowering farming community and iii) increased agricultural production through more efficient use of water resources.
The provincial components of the project have been approved by the respective provincial governments.
The operation and maintenance of water-courses of the project after completion would be the responsibility of farmers.
A study has been undertaken to access the impact of the project. The PMIC Chairman appreciated the efforts made by the Ministry of Food & Agriculture, provincial governments and farmers.
The positive socio-economic impact of the project would help in creation of employment opportunities, improvement in agricultural products and empowerment of farmer community.
The PMIC will closely look into the financial arrangement, and help improvement in PSDP allocation for the project. APP