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Pakistan's highway projects stalled due to non-release of funds

ANI | Updated: Apr 05, 2021 12:50 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], April 5 (ANI): Pakistan's development projects of the National Highway Authority (NHA) have been stalled due to a lack of disbursement of funds under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the third quarter of the current fiscal year.
The NHA contractors did not get payments for the last three months because of the non-release of funds and as a result, they adopted a policy of either go-slow or abandoned the infrastructure projects, including those being executed under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), reported Dawn.
The projects affected are mostly situated in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Balochistan.
Major NHA development projects affected due to non-release of funds by the government include Package-6 Rehabilitation of National Highway and Bridges, reported Dawn.

The government allocated Rs 119 billion to the NHA in 2020-21, but the ministry concerned released only 30 per cent of the funds, making it difficult for the department to complete the projects in time.
According to an official of the communication ministry, funds for the third quarter were to be released on Jan 1, but they were released in April. The relevant ministries are bound to release PSDP funds to the NHA at the beginning of all four quarters of the fiscal year.
The contractors wait for the release of funds and in case of no-release, they purchase construction material on credit and sometimes halt the projects due to non-payment of dues.
The same has happened in the third quarter of the current year when contractors were not paid their dues and they stopped work on the projects.
When contacted, a senior official of the NHA, who did not want to be named, told Dawn that the planning division was responsible for the delay in the release of funds. (ANI)