A meeting of the sub-Committee on the Senate Standing Committee on Communications was held in Parliament Lodges, Islamabad. The meeting was convened under the Convenorship of Senator Saifullah Abro; Senior Officers from the Ministry of Communications and NHA were present.
The sub-Committee reviewed various completed and ongoing projects by the National Highway Authority (NHA) to identify cost overruns and the reasons for it.
The Committee was informed that there were 33 projects that were completed at increased cost, which was almost 13 percent more than the initial bid. Main reasons for increased costs of projects were difference between financial funds and financial phasing in PC-I; cost escalation; additional scope of work and land acquisition issues.
The Committee reviewed in detail 10 projects that include the Larkana – Khairpur Bridge Project; Lakhi- Naudero – Larkana project; the Larkana – Moenjo Daro Road Project, the West Bank Bypass in Muzaffarabad, Larkana – Moen Jo Daro Road Project, Moosa Pak Shaheed Bridge, Gharo Keti Bandar Road. The Hyderabad – Sukkur Road project was also discussed in detail. Chairman Committee, Senator Saifullah Abro directed that a letter must be written to the Chairman NHA, regarding irregularities. He stressed that Public / Private Partnerships were the way forward and that all out efforts must be made to ensure transparency of the bidding process.
The Ministry was directed the Ministry to carry out amendments in data presentation. While discussing the prequalification process Convener Committee, Senator Saifullah Abro stressed the need for transparency of the process. He was of the view that following international standards in this regard would be helpful. Stressing the need for improving security situations, Convener Committee Senator Saifullah Abro stated that this was an essential step towards prosperity and development. Issues were observed majorly in projects that were initiated in between 2008-2013; 25 out of 35 projects fell into this category. It was asserted that background research must be stringent so that cost overruns are prevented. Following international standards was in order to minimize escalation costs, as seen in most ADB projects, was stressed. Convener Committee Senator Saifullah Abro was of the view that cost overruns and escalation costs must be investigated minutely in order to curb irregularities in various projects.