A Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting discussed the disclosure of the National Highway Authority (NHA) giving Rs. 15 billion in advance to contractors. The said amount was disbursed for nine different projects, audit officials said.
The official alleged that the amount was given to the contractors for deliberate financial gain. Responding to that allegation, an NHA official stated that the amount was given to the contractors as a conditional advance on the basis of a bank guarantee.
The NHA official claimed that the department followed the guidelines of the project donor, Asian Development Bank (ADB). Speaking in support of the NHA, the communications secretary stated that there was no financial loss to the government in this case.
The PAC disposed of the audit para and directed the NHA to follow the rules.
Not the First Time
NHA has made a habit of being under fire for questionable disbursement of funds. Earlier in 2023, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Communications questioned NHA for awarding Rs. 1 billion in advance for the Lodhran-Multan section of N-5.
Under Mir Khan Muhammad Jamali’s acting chairmanship, the Committee discussed the NHA’s misprocurement of the Lodhran-Multan section of NHA N-5.
The Committee was unsatisfied with NHA’s response and also questioned the project’s quality.