‘All National Highway schemes to be completed during 2012-13’

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Federal Minister for Communications Dr Arbab Alamgir Khan has said that during the coming financial year, ongoing national highway schemes in all the provinces particularly that of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa and Baluchistan will be completed on preferential basis, so that sense of deprivation could be eliminated among the people of small provinces.
He was presiding over the National Highway Council meeting held at NHA HQs here on Wednesday. Federal Secretary Communications Mr. Anwar Ahmad Khan and Chairman NHA Syed Muhammad Ali Gardezi also attended.
Dr Arbab Alamgir Khan recalled decision of previous NHC meeting where it was decided that development funds of NHA will be distributed among provinces on equitable basis. This methodology of distribution of funds will also be ensured for the next budget, he added. He emphasized on timely completion of Lowari Road Tunnel and Peshawar Northern Bypass projects. He directed that funds allocated for Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa and Baluchistan need to be increased, so that ongoing projects could be completed well in time. He stressed to ensure considerable increase in toll revenue which will enable NHA to realize its projects.
Federal Secretary Communications Anwar Ahmad Khan apprised that Ministry of Communications has demanded funds for 81x projects in next budget. On this occasion Chairman NHA Syed Muhammad Ali Gardezi said, Rs. 39.9 billion were allocated in the previous budget, out of which only Rs. 34 billion were released to NHA. This includes both local currency and foreign exchange.
He said NHA distributed the funds as per directive of the NHC. According to which 35.9% funds were spent in Punjab, 15.67% in Sindh, 9.7% in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, 11.9% in Baluchistan and 26.64% in Gilgit Baltistan. Talking about further increase in toll revenue, Chairman NHA Syed Muhammad Ali Gardezi assured that NHA is issuing tenders of all Toll Plazas in a transparent manner to achieve this objective.