The Standing Committee on Communications in its meeting on Friday took strict notice of non-compliance of rules at Toll Plazas. Senator Moula Bux Chandio showed extreme displeasure at the attitude of staff at Toll Plazas on motorway especially at Hyderabad and said that small cars are exempted, yet travellers are harassed at Toll Plazas.
Speaking of billboards messages at Toll Plazas, Senator Moula Bux Chandio said that these were an insult to Parliamentarians, The billboards read: Honourable Member National Assembly and Senators are not tax exempted. The Committee demanded that all such billboards be removed immediately.
While briefing the Committee on PSDP schemes and details of released and remaining funds; minutiae of first, second and third quarters were shared. The Committee was informed that a total of PKR 33 million had been released until the fourth quarter. It was revealed that a major impediment in NHA’s work is the disbursement of finances in the form of loans. Currently NHA is defaulting PKR 250 million.
Senator Ahmed Khan was of the view that delay in fund disbursement leads to deferred work that gives rise to the escalation factor. This leads to massive financial crunch that has affected the labour market adversely. The Committee took stringent notice of budget cuts and directed NHA to submit details of the schedule of payments issued to them by the Department of Finance.
Senator Jehanzeb Jamaldini said that the system of lending to a department for development is a major impediment. He said that an Act of Parliament must be passed against this.
While discussing details of Shabozai to Taunsa Road Project, the Committee enquired reasons for delay despite 60 percent funding from the Federal Government and 40 per cent contributed by the provincial government, Balochistan. Senator Usman Khan Kakar, said that the work that was completed initially was compromised and that the Finance Department as well as those involved on a provincial level must be summoned in the next meeting.
While deliberating over the issue of broken fences on the Highway, Senator Behramand Tangi, enquired reasons for delay in repair despite numerous reminders. Senator Fida Muhammad said many such crevices are seen on the Highway fence onwards from Attock. He stressed the need for immediate repair since it was threatening the lives of local people and livestock. He also said that he is not satisfied with details presented by Maintenance and Development work and complete details must be re-submitted to the Committee.
The meeting was attended amongst others by Senator Mir Muhammad Yousaf Badini, Senator Syed Muhammad Sabir Shah, Senator Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar, Senator Fida Muhammad, Senator Dr. Ashok Kumar, Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi, Senator Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Senator Moula Bux Chandio and other senior officers from the Ministry of Communications along with all concerned.