The National Highway Authority (NHA) has failed to prepare a commercially viable business plan in nine months.
Sources told ProPakistani that the Federal Cabinet in January 2021 had directed NHA to prepare a commercially viable business plan, linking debt restructuring, in nine months by hiring a consultant through an international competitive bidding process.
Sources revealed that a sub-committee headed by Deputy Chairman Planning Commission along with Secretary Finance, Secretary EAD, Secretary Communication as members, and Chairman NHA as Secretary of the committee had also been constituted to continuously review the progress on the preparation of NHA’s business plan.
It was further informed that NHA had shortlisted M/s KPMG Taseer Hadi and Co. as the highest-ranked firm that quoted Rs. 55.3 million to prepare the business plan in five months as per terms and conditions of RFP. It is pertinent to note that NHA had given the advertisement in Financial Times UK and China Daily in addition to local publications on 24 June 2021, with a bid closing date of 2 August 2021.
Sources said that the matter of award of the contract to the successful firm was placed before the NHA Executive Board meeting held on 23 August 2021. However, it was decided that the committee constituted by ECC may first be apprised of the progress made so far before the finalization of the procurement process.
Pursuance to the direction of the NHA Executive Board, a meeting of the sub-committee was held on 18 November 2021, in the planning commission under the chairmanship of Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission. The committee principally agreed with the hiring of the firm. However, the committee noted that the time given by ECC to NHA to complete the procurement process has lapsed due to consultations with the development partners for preparation of RFP and meeting the formalities of international procurement.
Keeping in view the facts, the committee was directed to initiate a summary for seeking approval of the ECC for an extension of time to complete the assignment by 30 June 2022.
The NHA requested the ECC, in the last meeting, to extend the timeline given for the preparation of the business plan till 30 June 2022, with the same condition regarding CDL as decided by the Federal Cabinet.
Sources said that ECC has given the approval to extend the timeline for preparation of the business plan toll 30 June 2022, and Federal Cabinet on Tuesday will ratify the ECC decision.