SLOW INFRASTRUCTURE AND LOGISTIC DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY IN PAKISTAN
Oct 29 - Nov 4, 2012
According to World Bank's Logistics Performance Index 2012 Pakistan is ranked 71 out of 155 economies in the World Bank's Logistics Performance Index 2012. Pakistan is very much below its competitors, the UAE and India, which are ranked 17 and 46, respectively.
In the logistics quality and competence, the World Bank placed Pakistan at 72 with the UAE occupying 17th and India 38th position.
The report spotlighted the cost of inferior logistics to country competitiveness and the sources of the higher costs.
The World Bank report pointed out the difficulties that Pakistan would have to overcome before it could anticipate challenges its neighboring countries.
According to Punjab Planning & Development Department the net size of the Annual Development Programme (ADP 2012-13) is Rs210 billion out of which worth Rs49.59 billion has been released for implementation and completion of the development projects in the province by the Punjab government.
The Chief Minister Punjab is concentrating on on-going schemes and also development schemes of the current fiscal year 2012-13. The Punjab Government released an amount of Rs23.807 billion for Infrastructure Development.
The vision for Punjab's road sector aims at upgrading, increasing and preserving a modern road network in the province.
Punjab transport program for 2011-12 directs to increase existing road densities through construction and upgrading of living network.
The provincial road sector through primarily responsible to consolidate and maintain the present 9,000 Km of inter-district roads, continues to provide for the rural-access road demands.
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif conducted tour of the Metro Bus Service construction site and repeated to contractors that major infrastructure work must be finished by November 20.
The chief minister inspected sections of the project from Gajju Mata to Niazi Chowk, including a bus depot, parts of the elevated track and the project site office. Talking with officials, contractors and laborers, he emphasised that the work must be finished quickly.
Sindh Government has approved the Policy on Public-Private-Partnership to further investment in infrastructure development. The policy aims at adding greater productivity both in implementation as well as management of a wide range of transport projects and programs.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa current development allocation for road maintenance is Rs 250 million, which is about 18 percent of the level required to prevent further deterioration or roads.
Pakistan is moving towards transforming state enterprises by removing institutional and technical hitches, making the way for private sector participation to address infrastructure deficit.
The Infrastructure Project Development Facility (IPDF) is said to have completed its work that includes procedural frameworks, feasibility studies, financial evaluation systems etc.
It has predicted bright prospects for public private partnership and improved service delivery by restructured state enterprises.
Pakistan requires investing Rs1.5 trillion annually to expand physical infrastructure. At present the government is evidently in no position to handle the situation on its own.
The IPDF was launched in 2006 under the authority of the ministry of finance as part of the 'Medium-Term Development Framework' to promote public private-partnership. The pace of progress is unfortunately rather not impressive and very slow.
The NHA has signed a build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract with Binapuri Holdings, a Malaysian company, for the construction of Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway (M-9). Under this project, the existing 4-lane Super Highway will be upgraded in to 6-lane Motorway over three years.
Pakistan Railways is working on a proposal to cut a deal with the private sector to operate their own rolling stocks driven by private engines.
The Pakistan Army is working efficiently on various Infrastructure Development projects
NATIONAL LOGISTICS CELL
Established in 1977 and mainly manned by serving Army officers, it employs over 6500 civilians / ex servicemen. With a transport fleet comprising 2000 heavy duty vehicles it is battling logistics crises especially handling / transportation of dry and liquid cargo in the country. It is also helping the flood affected people Balochistan.
It has shown progress on some of the very important national projects that include port handling, construction works and special projects.
FRONTIER WORK ORGANIZATION
It undertakes large projects of road communication, bridges dams, canals and earthworks. In past over thirty years it has constructed 3797 kilometers of roads including Kora Krum Highway, Gilgit-Skardu Link, besides preparing 8 completely new and up-gradating 11 airfields. Further it has undertaken extensive works on irrigation structures.
This organization has contributed importantly to the national cause in the fields of industry, social development, employment opportunities and enhancing the national exchequer by paying considerable taxes. Rs. 6886.92 millions have been paid by Fauji Foundation / sponsored Pub Ltd Companies in the last ten years.
SPECIAL COMMUNICATION ORGANIZATION
Established in 1976 it provides communication facilities to entire Northern Areas and Azad Kashmir. Since its origination, this organization has played a pivotal role in development of telephone and telegraph facilities in the inaccessible areas.
In this sector, substantial contributions are being made by Pakistan Ordnance Factory and Heavy Industry Taxila, which are producing a wide range of items for use within the country and abroad.
SERVICES IN AZAD KASHMIR / NORTHERN AREAS
Without any financial assistance from the Government, Pakistan Army and Frontier Work Organization have jointly constructed, and are maintaining critical communication networks to include roads and tracks in Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas, like Laswa and Kiran Bypass, besides other difficult forward roads.
Army Engineers have constructed over 728 kilometers of 24 ft wide which will be converted into black top roads.
National Highway Authority (NHA) informed the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that the NATO supply route to Afghanistan via Pakistan has damaged the road infrastructure worth Rs 100 billion in the country during last 10 years.
They further informed the PAC that Pakistan has not received anything in this regard from NATO containers during last 10 years but the Ministry of Communications had proposed levying charges from NATO trucks and containers passing through Pakistan to Afghanistan in future.
Pakistan is trying to make its ports, the centre of trading activities of the region to serve as transshipment point for the Middle East, South Asia and Central Asian States.
China is ready to take operational control of Gwadar, the deep-sea port after the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) has decided to pull out of a 40-year port management and development contract signed in 2007.
China will also operate the port, which is vitally located close to the Pakistan-Iran border and the Strait of Hormuz in south-western Balochistan province.
China has contributed about $198 million of the initial investment for the port project. Under the development plan, Gwadar port will be connected with China's western province of Xinjiang through rail and road links.
China's eastern seaboard ports are 3,500 kilometres away from the city of Kashgar in western China, whereas the distance from Kashgar to Gwadar is only 1,500 kilometres.
The port facilities are considered to be excellent for China's flourishing economy. If Chinese companies and exporters handle their own cargo, it would make Gwadar port one of the busiest in the region.
On the whole logistic and infrastructure development in the country when compared with other regional countries is slow and needs to be accelerated with full momentum.