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Event Title: Meeting of the Senate Standing committee on Communications was held under the Chairmanship of Senator Prince Ahmed Umer Ahmedzai here at the Parliament House on Friday

Event Date: 2022-04-29

While inquiring about the mechanism for the toll plaza rates escalation the committee was apprised that the toll rates applicable to national highway shall be approved by the National Highway executive Board and the NHA has the authority to increase toll levels to meet the ever rising maintenance need.  It was also informed that the increase is based on results in form of Robotic Process Automation RPA or (Constant Prepayment Yield) CPY or inflation (source Economic Survey of Pakistan by MoF ) and the time period for escalation is three years or as need arises.  The NHA presented that the 10 pc annual toll escalation shall be applied from the 2nd operational year till 12th year of concession period and the 07 pc annual escalation shall be applied from the 13th year of concession period till last year of the concession period for the toll Rates Mechanism for Build-Operate-Transfer BOT PPP Contract as per the concession agreement M-2. Senator Kamil Ali Agha inquired on the law under which toll rates are determined and escalated and also sought briefing on the legal authenticity of the Concession Agreement (M-2).  The committee also showed concern over the rising rates of the tuck shops and restaurants with a cost of tea @ of Rs. 60 per cup on the motor way service areas.  The committee recommended the NHA to give more powers to the district magistrate and the Price magistrate as to monitor and control the service rates of the motorway outlets. The committee also recommended paying surprise visits in order to control fair prices on the items at the service areas. The NHA also presented before the committee the plan for decongestion and up gradation of national highways. The NHA has planned to enhance the Traffic Capacity and level of services of Lahore –Gujranwala section and Rawalpindi-Hassan-abdal section or N-5 through construction of additional lanes. The NHA also presented that to address the congestion on urbanized sections of the national highways the local administration through local police must ensure that rickshaws motorcyclist, Qing Qi to use extreme outer lanes so that the main traffic can move freely

While discussing the filling of the vacant positions of woman, minorities and disables quota the committee was informed that the NHA is not making recruitments for more than 5 years now and the judgment of the Supreme Court is awaited in this regard. The committee showed dissatisfaction over the indefinite answer of the NHA authorities and directed to take proper steps to fill seats of the disable and the minorities. The NHA presented the summary of the sanctioned and the working employees in the NHA including the 2 pc disabled quota and 6 pc Baluchistan quota.

The meeting was attended by Senator Saifullah Abro, Kamil Ali Agha, Danesh Kumar, Abida Muhammad Azeem, Shamim Afridi, and Senator Muhammad Akram. Secretary Communications and other senior officers of the attached department were also in attendance.