Costly symbolic projects damaged country a lot: PEW

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Majority of projects based on political considerations
Construction of political projects on borrowed money is criminal

The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Tuesday said the tendency of politicians to prefer symbolic and fancy projects over necessary projects have inflicted heavy losses on the country.

During the last fifty years, the majority of projects were designed to please the politicians while national interests were simply compromised, it said.

Billions were borrowed for fancy projects which was criminal while health, education, provision of clean drinking water, sanitation and supporting industrial and agricultural sectors was simply ignored, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

He said that the wasteful expenditure in the development sector are more evident as unnecessary high-cost projects like the BRT, metros, city trains and motorways should have cost half or less of what was spent.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal who is also Convener FPCCI Central Standing Committee on Insurance said that politicians have always ignored the issue of out of school children whose number is now 22 million and spent money on useless projects.

He said that Warsak Dam was built at a cost of 100 million dollars which has benefitted economy by 6 billion dollars, Turbela Dam is producing electricity worth Rs50 crore per day while Mangla Dam and Ghazi Brotha projects have ensured full cost recovery in three years and now they are generating handsome profit.

The National Highway and Karakoram Highway also benefit the country but Islamabad-Lahore Motorway has become a liability. It design was changed, its length was increased by fifty kilometres and it was dragged away from industrial centers to benefit a politician of Rawalpindi.

He said that politicians can never justify a dam to water 28 thousand acres over another project which was supposed to water two hundred thousand acres of land at the same cost.

As long as the approval of important projects is left to politicians and bureaucracy they will continue to play with the fate of the country therefore the project approval must include experts of good repute from the private sector, he demanded.

In: Pakistan Economy WatchAuthor: pakistaneconomywatch