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NHA giving benefits to blue-eyed contractors, claim senators
11-20-2013, 03:20 PM
Post: #1
NHA giving benefits to blue-eyed contractors, claim senators
ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Communication and Postal Services on Tuesday expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of National Highway Authority (NHA) and said the institution was conferring huge losses to the national exchequer by giving benefits to blue eyed contractors.

The Committee met with Daud Khan Achakzai in the chair observed especially in Balochistan, contractors were running the institution. Whenever member parliamentary committee or parliament visited the site of ongoing projects, the officials presented lame excuses of law and order situation but work was going on in government statistics and documents in the province.

NHA informed the Committee government earmarked Rs 63.03 billion for 2013-14 under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) including foreign aid of Rs 30.91 billion. The government has so far released Rs 17.08 to NHA under the PSDP allocation up to October 30, 2013. Gross toll revenue from National Highways and Motorways remained at Rs 3.1 billion up to September 30, 2013 against Rs 13.3 in 2012-13, the Committee was informed.

Daud Achakzai said funds earmarked for 2012-13 and first quarter of the current fiscal year could not have been released to Balochistan. He said due to inordinate delay in projects completion, cost was escalated and resulting in huge losses to the national exchequer by contactors in connivance with the Authority.

Secretary Communication Arshad Bhatti informed the Committee a regional manger would be deputed on every project to ensure early completion. Former Legal Director of NHA, inconvenience with contractors gave huge losses to the institution, was removed on the recommendation of Standing Committee.

Chairman NHA Maroof Afzal informed the Committee most of the roads were deteriorating due to overloading while people raise questions on the institution. A public awareness campaign would be launched in this regard. Negotiations are going with National Logistic Cell (NLC) and Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) and through Planning Commission concerns of the FWO would be removed.

Contracts won by the NLC and FWO, which are further handing over to private contractors would be stopped while only the winning contractors would be made bind to complete work.

Senators said government should also award contracts to other than NLC and FWO.

During 2012-13, Rs 3.25 billion has been received from FWO. Likewise Rs 552.243 million has been paid to FWO on account of O&M charges for the same period. During fiscal year 2013-14 FWO has collected Rs 796.231 million and deposited Rs 657.885 million till date. On the issue of toll plazas with NLC, meeting between chairman NHA and DG NLC held last month at NHA Headquarter, officials added.

The Committee expressing displeasures over the blacklisting companies recommended the Committee should be kept inform about actions taken against such companies working in Balochistan. Chairman NHA informed the Committee Hasnain and Co has taken stay order from the court.
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