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Federal, provincial roads network plan

PM announces National Plan to upgrade existing network and construct new roads

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By Yousaf Rafiq
Special Correspondent, Islamabad
June 28 - July 04,1999

In order to revive the economy it is necessary to accelerate economic activity in the country through increased infrastructure development including construction and upgradation of roads and ports. This development work will not only generate employment but also act as a catalyst for economic growth by providing efficient and reliable transportation.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in a meeting recently held, has approved the National Plan of 'Federal and Provincial Roads Network'.


It is planned to increase the existing road density of 0.23 km/sq.km to 0.30 km/sq.km in the country over the next ten years. Accordingly the existing length of 181,868 km of roads will be increased to 242,281 km by constructing 60,413 km new roads. In addition 57,190 km of existing roads will be upgraded. At least thirty per cent of the plan target will be achieved in three years from 1999 to 2001. Accordingly, 26,496 km new roads will be constructed besides upgrading 20,815 km existing roads at a cost of Rs 210 billion.

It was decided in the meeting that Farm to Market Roads and Rural Access Roads will be upgraded/constructed by the provinces and the Ministry of Communications will coordinate and oversee/monitor progress.

Following decisions were taken to achieve targets set for next three years (1999-2001):

Upgrading of 8,950 km existing roads will be taken up on priority basis and completed by provinces from their own sources. For construction of 20,000 km new roads by provinces, Federal Government will provide funds as under: in the first year for 5,000 km Rs 8 billion, in the 2nd year for 7,000 km Rs 15 billion and in the 3rd year for 8,000 km Rs 20 billion. A total of Rs 43 billion will be spent in three years for the above mentioned 20,000 km new roads.

To ensure speedy execution of the road plan during the next three years period from 1999-2001 in an efficient and economical way it was approved that: (i) a new national composite schedule of rates will be prepared by the NHA as a reference for all Projects; (ii) all payments except financial assistance by aid giving agencies, will be made in local currency; (iii) to curtail the cost of land, all necessary steps will be taken for expeditious acquisition, appropriate orders be issued as soon as a project proposal is formulated; (iv) Ministry of Communications and national Highway Authority will prepare and adopt simplified contracting procedures in order to reduce time and cost; (v) the Ministry of Finance shall ensure availability of required funds matching the targets given to Ministry of Communications/NHA. The provincial governments shall also ensure availability of funds matching the provincial targets for road construction and rehabilitation. (vi) appropriate amendments will be done by CBR in relevant SROs, exempting scrutiny/declaration of source of funds for BOT projects; (vii) as construction has already been declared as an industry, appropriate steps shall be taken and necessary circulars/orders issued by CBR for its implementation; (viii) Tameer-i-Pakistan should be activated for taking up infrastructure development projects under PSDP; (ix) Technical Bureaus (for Roads, Ports and Telecommunication sectors) will be set up in Ministry of Communications. With small teams of highly qualified and experienced experts for overseeing, monitoring and expediting Project Processing and Implementation, there will be no burden on the Government Budget as it will be financed by the attached departments/autonomous bodies; (x) sufficient additional annual block allocation to be provided by the Ministry of Finance for priority projects directed by the Prime Minister.