The Senate Standing Committee Development and Reform in its meeting on Monday at Parliament House, stressed the need for Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) to be consulted on the various projects undertaken by the Ministry. As recommended earlier that the Ministry of Planning Development and Reform must work in unison with PEC regarding causes of delay in execution of projects..It was emphasized that expert advice on projects will save the government revenue and time. Issues taken up included RBOB-II Mega Drainage Project and the King Suleiman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Hospital.
Chaired by Senator Agha Shahzaib Durrani, the meeting was attended by Senator Engr. Rukhsana Zuberi, Senator Hidayatullah, Senator Gianchand and senior officers from the Ministry of Planning Development and Reform along with all concerned. Representatives of the Sindh Irrigation Department and National Highway Authority (NHA) attended the meeting as well.
While discussing compliance on various recommendations, it was revealed that the Ministry of Planning Development and Reform undertakes field and desk monitoring with the Ministries/ Divisions to address impeding issues in implementation. The release mechanism has been streamlined in consultation with Finance Division to ensure timely availability of funds to the project authorities. In addition The Ministry of Planning Development and Reform undertakes monthly and quarterly review of PSDP as per directions of the Honourable Prime Minister of Pakistan. The Committee was also informed that PC/MPDR is already working for streamlining the approval process of development projects. In this regard the sanctioning limit recently to process and approve the projects on fast track basis. Moreover, automation of PC-I and approval process is at final stage under which tracking and monitoring of projects will be performed under E-Office and progress will be placed on official website as well.
Discussing increase in Toll-tax the Committee was informed that NHA does not increase toll-tax on a monthly basis, the process takes place approximately after four years. Regarding MI, it was revealed that a 12-15 percent increase was imposed in 2018.
Reviewing the Committee’s decision to bring important amendments in the Land Acquisition Act, the Committee was informed that DC PC in the meeting of CDWP held on 18 November, 2019 has directed to devise a mechanism to counter land procurement issues and a meeting will be arranged with concerned officials and special areas.
Deliberating over the RBOB-II Mega Drainage Project from Sehwan to sea, the Committee was informed that the main hitch in its progress was re-mobilization of FWO as it had stopped work on the project due to scarcity of funds in 2010. The Committee was assured that all payments will be made on time and that all stakeholders are on board regarding this issue. In addition to this it was revealed that court cases on land acquisition is another major impediment in progress of this project and must be resolved at the earliest.