Communication Ministry Saved Rs 750 million Through Austerity: Murad Saeed

ISLAMABAD, Aug 19 (APP): Minister for Communications and Postal Services Murad Saeed Wednesday said following the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the ministry had adopted the policy of austerity, accountability, transparency and self-sufficiency.

He was addressing a press conference along with Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz, Minister for Science and Technology, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain and Minister for Human Rights, Dr Shiren Mazari, Minister for Energy, Omer Ayub, Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi, Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda and Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination Dr Fahmida Mirza.

He said e-tendering, e-bidding and e-billing system had been introduced in the National Highway Authority (NHA) to improve the efficiency and ensure transparency. He said e-billing process was launched from Hakla-Dera Ismail Khan project and from September 30, this year all the NHA projects would be done through e-tendering, e-bidding and e-billing. Murad Saeed said the ministry had saved Rs750 million through the policy of austerity as per the vision of the Prime Minister while Rs12.56 billion were recovered after special audit of various projects.

Murad Saeed said for the first time in the history of NHA, the landmark Geographic Information System (GIS) had been introduced to optimize its revenues and ensure transparency in the institution. He said it was a revolutionary step under which digitisation of the complete information regarding utilities and commercial amenities in the Right of Way (RoW) of the NHA network had been done.

He said in comparison with the last two years of the PML-N government, in its first two years the PTI government had built 546 kilometer more roads which was a difference of 48.2 per cent. Murad Saeed said the past two years performance of the NHA was exemplary as the government had taken steps to strengthen the national institutions.

He said the ministry had saved Rs750 billion by cutting expenditure under the policy of austerity introduced by Prime Minister Imran Khan. He said under the vision of the prime minister, the government had introduced public-private-partnership and eight Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) projects were being launched during the present fiscal year.

He said physical work on the landmark 306 km Sukkur-Hyderabad Motorway would start in March next year. He said Sialkot-Kharian and Kharian-Rawalpindi Motorway, Alcazar-Mianwali-Muzaffargarh road would also be built on BOT basis. He said other major projects to be launched this year included Karachi-Quetta-Chaman Highway and second phase of Swat Motorway.

About the Pakistan Post, he said the government had revived the people’s trust in the institution by taking many steps and its revenue had increased form Rs10 billion to Rs18 billion annually.

He said National Highway and Motorway Police had started patrolling Gojra-Shorkot Section, Hyderabad-Multan Motorway, Lahore-Abdul Hakeem Motorway without any additional recruitment. He said Hamsafar app was launched to provide up-to-date information to the road users. He said Rescue 1122 had started working on the NHA network in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and it would be expanded all over the country.

He said consultation was being held with the Ministry of Science and Technology for monitoring traffic on motorways through drones.

The Sukkur-Hyderabad (M-6) Motorway would bring a development revolution in interior Sindh. He said the 306-kilometre would be constructed on BOT basis. He said construction of Hyderabad-Sukkur Motorway would start soon and after its completion commuters would enjoy motorway facility from Peshawar to Karachi.

He said the NHA had also planned to build Sialkot-Kharian Motorway and Kharian-Rawalpindi Motorway on BOT basis and their feasibility studies would be completed this year. Similarly, Balkasar-Mianwali Road and Mianwali-Muzafargarh Road would be dualised under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model, he said. He said Multan-Muzaffargarh-Dera Ghazi Khan Road was also being planned to be built on the PPP-BOT model.

He said work on the Western alignment of China Pakistan Corridor had become a reality and many more road projects in Balochistan were under process.

He said Phase-II of the Swat Motorway would be launched by the end of this year.

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