The Planning Commission has asked the federal government to fix the National Highway Authority (NHA) problem pertaining to trillions of rupees in throw-forward and loan liabilities from international donors.
The commission has further asked the federal government to not involve NHA in projects of a purely provincial nature as its revenue is not matching the projects it has initiated, according to official documents seen by Propakistani.
The federal government is responsible for the construction and maintenance of National Highways and Motorways through NHA. In principle, the NHA is totally dependent on the federal public sector development program (PSDP) for its projects and even for paying its employees.
The planning commission further pointed out that NHA’s throw-forward in PSDP 2022-23 as of July,01, 2022 is Rs. 1,235 billion with an allocation of Rs. 117 billion in the current financial year. NHA‘s revenue through tolls and other sources also falls fairly short to cater to the maintenance of its assets. Due to deferred maintenance, NHA assets go into rehabilitation mode which requires more financing.
With the massive throw-forward in PSDP, Cash Development Loan (CDL) liability, foreign loans liability (ADB, SICA, World Bank, Korean Exim Bank & Chinese IFIs), the financial liability of completed projects, depletion of NHA assets due to shortage of maintenance funds, dependence on funds from the federal government either through PSDP or maintenance grants, there is no considerable source of revenue.
The commission said that it is an emergent responsibility of the federal government to fix the above-mentioned issues faced by the NHA and for that, the federal government should not be investing in road projects falling purely under the provincial domain. The NHA’s ongoing projects are facing cost escalation due to delays caused by the nonavailability of funds, added the Planning Commission.