State Minister for Communications Mr. Murad Saeed has stressed upon the need of seeking new ways and means for generating more revenue for highway building schemes to ensure sustainable development in the country. In order to avoid delayed completion of projects, planning stage needs to be studied at deeper level effectively. He was addressing the meeting of the National Highway Council held at Ministry of Communications here today. Federal Secretary Communications Mr. Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui, Secretary Finance Arif Ahmad Khan, Chairman NHA/ Secretary NHC Mr. Jawwad Rafique Malik, Highway Construction and Management Professional Prof. Mumtaz Ahmad Kamal, Finance and Accounts Professional Akhtar Hanif Aziz participated in the meeting. NHA’s Member Administration Mr. Ali Sher Mehsud, Member Finance Mr. Shoaib Ahmad Khan, Member Planning Mr. Asim Amin, Member (Engr-Coord) Mr. Arbab Ali and senior officers from Ministry of Communications and National Highway Authority were also present.
The council agreed to NHA’s business plan for increasing revenue, policy on Public Private Partnership mode for construction of highways and motorways, construction of hotels and motel on NHA’s rest areas of increasing tourism sites and linkage of farm to market roads with highways to facilitate the farmers to transport their agricultural products to larger markets.
Mr. Murad Saeed said, vision of Prime Minister Mr. Imran Khan with regard to functioning of Ministry of Communications and National Highway Authority is very clear and simple. The present government intends to reduce dependency on national exchequer for road building projects in the country. Availability of new resources of revenue generation will pave the way for sustainable economic development, and by grace of Allah Almighty we shall soon be in position to generate more revenue in communications sector.
He desired to utilize the public money in a more useful way. He said linkage of highways with tourism sites and provision of maximum travelling and civic amenities will generate employment opportunities. He said, NHA’s Right of Way may prove a source of earning heavy income for NHA. Development and extension of national highways and motorways network and to make travelling comfortable and environment friendly stands among our priorities, he added.
Federal Secretary Communications Mr. Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui said, Ministry of Communications is advancing its projects as per vision of the present government. He said, clear targets and destination ease the course of action. He proposed NHA to introduce model pilot project to attract the people in revenue generating schemes. He desired such conditions wherein sustainable economic growth could be ensured.
Chairman NHA/ Secretary NHC Mr. Jawwad Rafique Malik said, NHA is making practical advancement towards increasing its revenue sources. He said highways and motorways projects are underway on basis of Public Private Partnership (PPP). He further said, toll collection system is being improved and Electronic Toll Traffic Management (ETTM) system is being installed gradually at toll plazas. He said, organized utilization of NHA’s right of way may give NHA heavy amounts. Establishment of new service areas and provision of facilities may also increase revenue of NHA. He said, NHA is also laying Optic Fibre Cable along 800 km long network including Lahore-Abdul Hakeem Motorway and Multan-Sukkur Motorway with view to generate revenue. It was informed that during the last a few years 4 schemes of NHA were completed on PPP basis at cost of Rs. 134 billion while four new projects are being initiated at cost of Rs. 350 billion.