Islamabad: The government Wednesday has increased the allocation for 12 small dams to Rs 19 billion from earlier allocation of Rs 17 billion under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the year 2011-12.

Finance Minister Hafeez Shaikh made this announcement at the Ministry of Water and Power to review the construction of 12 small and medium dams in all the four provinces.

Federal Minister for Water and Power, Syed Naveed Qamar said development of 12 small dams would help socio-economic uplift of remote areas of the country.

The finance minister assured the meeting maximum possible increase would be proposed for water sector in the annual development plan 2011-12 keeping in view the available resources.

He said the government would provide all out financial support to other mega projects.

Naveed Qamar said Ministry of Water and Power and Finance would also help for arranging finances to complete the dams in time. He asked WAPDA to expedite the work on these projects.

Besides irrigation of one million acres of cropped area, which was main purpose of the dams, the development of 12 dams would give a benefit to generate 58,000 jobs and emancipation of women through allotment of developed irrigated land around the dams, he maintained.

Chairman Wapda Shakeel Durrani briefed the meeting on the current status of the small dams’ project.

He informed 12 dams would be constructed in two phases in all the four provinces with storage capacity of 4 MAF floodwater. In first phase Winder and Naulong dams will be constructed in Balochistan, Kurram Tangi in KPK, Darwat and Nai Gaj dams in Sindh and Ghabir dam will be constructed in Punjab. It was also informed Exim bank China and Economic Affairs division has signed MoU to provide $700 million for small and medium dams.

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