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Motorways funds diverted to big bosses areas, PM informed
07-19-2013, 12:13 PM
Post: #1
Motorways funds diverted to big bosses areas, PM informed
ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was told on Thursday that funds earmarked for motorways and roads in the country were diverted for Multan, Larkana and Gujar Khan packages. “The officials of the Ministry of Communications informed the prime minister about this startling revelation during briefing on the ongoing and delayed projects of the country,” sources privy to the meeting shared with TheNation.
Giving the detailed briefing of country projects, sources said the secretary communication informed the premier that funds earmarked for motorways and roads in the country were diverted to Multan, Larkana and Gujar Khan.
Sources said that secretary communication also pointed out that 15 anomalies of serious nature came out in the audit of IG Motorways Police Zafar Abbas Lak. On it, PM ordered that those be shared with his office.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is also possessing the portfolio of Communication Ministry, ordered an inquiry into the poor maintenance of Pindi-Battian-Faisalabad Motorway
The sources said the prime minister expressed disappointment over the poor presentation given by communication and gave them seven days to prepare themselves for follow-up briefing.
Its is relevant to mention here that The Nation has published the story on February 2012 about neglecting various vital development projects of country especially from Balochistan, the road maintenance packages of Multan and Larkana are allegedly being given much importance with these areas getting comparatively smooth funding for development as compared to others. “It was revealed that even diversion of funds from extraordinary delayed projects towards Multan package has caused loss to national kitty,” said a source in the Communication Ministry desiring not to be named.
As a result of which, different projects, including Attabad Lake (at KKH), Hassanabdal Mansehra, Lowari Tunnel, Faisalabad-Multan Motorway, M-8 and other extraordinary vital projects could not be completed even after passing a long time due to shortage of funds.
It would not be out of place to mention here that the issue of discrimination was also raised in the sub-committee of the Senate Standing Committee on Communication when ANP leader Senator Zahid Khan reportedly accused Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani of diverting funds from the ongoing National Highway Authority (NHA) projects in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa towards Multan.
The senator had also raised concern that during past few months Rs3.7 billion had been allocated for Multan package but meagre funds were released for Lowari Tunnel, Peshawar Northern By-Pass and Hassanabdal-Mansehra Highway projects.
A number of attempts were made to contact secretary communication but he was not available.
Economic corridor to open up new vistas: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said Pakistan-China Economic Corridor will open up new vistas of economic uplift for the underdeveloped areas of the country. He said this while taking briefing from the officials of ministries of planning, communications and railways at Pakistan Secretariat here on Thursday.
The prime minister also termed the Pak-China Economic Corridor as the future of the world. He said three billion people, almost half of the world's population, from China, South Asia and Central Asia can benefit from this economic corridor. He wished it should be so designed that maximum number of people of the country benefit from this corridor.
Premier Nawaz Sharif was also briefed about the proposed alignments and lines from Khunjrab to Gwadar that are to be constructed as part of Pakistan-China Economic Corridor.
He directed the concerned authorities to explore more options keeping in view the factors of terrain, population and social cost of the project in the form of population dislocations while drawing the areas through which this Corridor will be passing. The premier also emphasized on ensuring quality of work and transparency.
About Lahore-Islamabad Motorway, he said it should be taken as a model and its quality and standard needed to be kept in view while constructing the Pak-China Economic Corridor.
Taking strong exception of the poor condition of motorways and roads in the country, the prime minister said that motorways, highways and road networks were national assets and their repair and maintenance must be given the top most priority.
He said governments in Pakistan should have constructed many more motorways till now. He lamented that development of roads and motorways had been the low priority area in the country.
Sharif was dejected over the fact that projects had never been completed on time and making delay in completing the projects had almost become a national character.
"Without setting our priorities right and without moving in the right direction, we cannot attain the goal that we have in our mind for the people of Pakistan," said the prime minister. Expressing dissatisfaction over the briefing, the prime minister gave one week to ministry of communications to complete its work and ordered to arrange a follow-up briefing later.
He also directed ministries of communications, railways and planning to keep their home work up-to-date to take the process of cooperation with China on Pak-China Economic Corridor to next level of implementation.
He gave his approval in principle for the restructuring of planning and development division. Under the restructuring plan, the planning division will get the status of a think tank for highest policy in-put and the ministry of planning and development will be renamed as planning, development and reforms division.
Minister for Finance Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Minister for Information Pervez Rashid, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Special assistant to the PM Tariq Fatimi and senior officials of the planning, railways and communications ministries attended the briefing.
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