Neelum Jehlum project cost esclates from Rs 15 billion to Rs 404 billion

Neelum Jehlum project cost esclates from Rs 15 billion to Rs 404 billion

ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament was informed on Tuesday that the cost of Nelum Jehlum Project was escalated to Rs 404 billions from Rs 15 billions due to delay in execution of the project.

The Nelum Jehlum, which was the oldest PSDP pending scheme was approved in 1989 with cost of Rs 15 billions but its was escalated to Rs 404 billions due delay in execution, the official of Planning and Development told the PAC that met here under the Chairmanship of Syed Khursheed Shah.

The meeting was also attended by other members including Abdul Rashid Godil, Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Sardar Ashiq Gopang, Mushahid Hussain Syed, Ghulam Mustafa Shah, Tavir Khan, Shafqat Mehmood, Hadayatullah, Syed Naveed Qamar, Azam Khan Sawatti, Dr. Azra Fazal and Sheikh Rashid Ahmed.

Secretary Planning, Development and Reforms informed the body there were a total of 573 on-going PSDP projects and Rs 534 billions were allocated for these schemes in current fiscal year of 2017-18.

He said there were clear instructions of the incumbent government to complete the pending projects as soon as possible, saying that the Planning Commission had written to all ministries to provide details of the pending projects that were near to completion.

The committee noted that cost of a number of projects were escalated due to delay in their execution and issuance of funds. Syed Khursheed Shah said the cost of Nelum Jehlum project was escalated but no responsibility was fixed for the losses.

The committee directed the ministry to classify the pending projects in accordance of their aging, importance and  ministries concerned.

The body observed that funds were allocated for health schemes in the budget but no releases were made to execute them timely.

Briefing the PAC about construction of 200 bed hospital for Obstetrics & Gynecology in Rawalpindi, Secretary Cabinet said the ECNEC had approved the PC-1 of the project with cost of Rs 5.316 billions, saying that the Prime Minister had directed to execute the project timely.

He said the project under the Health Ministry was approved in 2005 with the cost of 1.32 billion but the cost was escalated due to delay in execution.

Shafqat Mehmood said the ministry should classify the projects in accordance of their age in a bid to provide complete information of the pending schemes to PAC.

Syed Khursheed Shah asked the secretaries of all ministries to identify their ministries' pending projects so that PAC could issue directives to the relevant ministry to expedite work on them.

He said a strategy should be introduced for release of funds for development schemes for timely execution of projects.

The body also sought report from the Planning Commission regarding a pending project of Nolan Dam in Balochistan province within fifteen days.

Shah said the cost of the project was decreased from Rs 30 billion to 19 billion but work on the project couldn't be started so far.

The committee also directed the District Administration of Rawalpindi to complete the project of a Women College on land of Pakistan Railways and make it operational as soon as possible.

Sheikh Rashid said 80 percent work of the college was completed but remaining is delayed for years despite having funds with the district administration.