ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chaired a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Tuesday.

The meeting approved Diamer-Bhasha Dam Project at a total rationalized cost of 474,000 million rupees. The dam will have a 6.4 MAF live storage capacity and installed power capacity of 4,500 MW.

After completion, the project will increase national water storage capacity of the country from 38 days to 45 days and will enhance lifespan on downstream reservoirs, including Tarbela Dam.

Its foundation stone was laid by former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani of Pakistan on 18 October 2011. Upon completion, Diamer-Bhasha Dam would be the highest roller-compacted concrete (RCC) dam in the world. The dam site is situated near a place called “Bhasha” in Gilgit-Baltistan’s Diamer District.

Cabinet Meeting

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that sustained income and revenue streams will benefit the country instead of obtaining loans.

He said this while chairing a meeting of the federal cabinet in Islamabad on Tuesday.

Finance Division presented the Budget Strategy Paper for Financial Years 2018-19 to 2020-21 and briefed about the macro-economic indicators of current FY 2017-18.

The secretary finance briefed that the Budget Strategy for FY 2018-19 to 2020-21 is based on four broad targets including sustained growth momentum, ensuring fiscal consolidation, managing balance of payments and ensuring debt sustainability.

It was informed that the recently announced Economic Reforms Package, including lowering tax rates, widening the tax base, real estate reforms, local amnesty and tightening of foreign exchange regime, will help increase revenues and reduce the deficit.

The Budget Strategy Paper was discussed at length by the cabinet and several cabinet members provided useful suggestions for incorporation in the upcoming budget proposals.

The cabinet approved Budget Strategy Paper for FY 2018-19 to 2020-21.