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September 16, 2018
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Development projects

Newspost

September 16, 2018

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The federal information minister has said that the previous Punjab government had been spending huge subsidies (to the tune of billions) on various development projects every year and would have approved billions of subsidies to operate another mega project – the Orange Line Metro Train. At present, the project requires an annual subsidy of Rs3.5 billion. Does this mean that these projects were commenced without proper budgeting? Did the government make sure whether or not the project has positive net present value (NPV)? It is surprising that projects with negative NPV were approved. What if, as the minister also expressed, the mass transit scheme proves to be no longer sustainable and is ultimately closed down? Who will be responsible for such monumental loss of public money?

It is pertinent to mention that Peshawar’s fate with regard to the BRT project doesn’t seem to be any different than Punjab’s. However, since BRT is the PTI’s brainchild, the minister is starkly silent about the project’s operational figures. The party has only said that the completion cost wouldn’t exceed Rs67 billion. The PTI government should not criticise only those projects that were introduced by the previous government.

Engr Tariq Malik

Rawalpindi

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