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Zardari wants to collect funds for projects

PAKISTAN POLITICS ELECTIONKARACHI: President Asif Ali Zardari advised federal and provincial governments on Tuesday to consider releasing adequate funds for critical and most important development projects for their early completion, instead of spreading resources too thin on a large number of projects without the prospect of early completion of any of them.

He asked finance and planning and development ministers of Sindh to identify in consultation with officials of federal ministry of finance the projects which would benefit the largest number of people.

Once such projects are identified adequate funds should be released for their completion within a specified period.

“There is no wisdom in allocating small amounts to scores of projects and not being able to complete any project well in time to reap its social and economic benefits,” the president was quoted as saying.

The president was speaking at a meeting on development projects in the province at the Bilawal House.

The meeting was attended by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Federal Communications Minister Arbab Alamgir, Special Assistant on Water Kamal Majeedullah, relevant provincial ministers and senior federal and provincial government officials.

According to President’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar, the president told planning and finance officials that the development strategy should be designed to meet needs of specific regions and reduce intra-provincial disparity.

The NHA chairman informed the meeting that the Damage and Need Assessment (DNA) of the authority’s projects had been completed and the report had been forwarded to the Asian Development Bank.

The rehabilitation of the damaged infrastructure, he said, was estimated to cost over Rs17 billion.

The president asked the NHA to complete on a war footing the projects which were essential for restoring traffic and communications on all roads and highways.

The meeting was informed that besides NHA projects in the province, over 1900 kms of roads and 27 bridges had been damaged and their reconstruction would cost over Rs14 billion.

Teams of World Bank and Asian Development Bank visited affected districts last week for damage and need assessment, the meeting was informed.

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