New Islamabad International Airport to be operational by Oct 2016, NA told

ISLAMABAD:The new Islamabad International Airport including its signal free approach road would be completed by Oct 2016, Parliamentary Secretary Raja Javed Ikhlas told National Assembly on Friday.

Replying to the question of Ms Naeema Kishwar Khan, he said the project, inaugurated in 2007 has been delayed due to various reasons. The cases of the responsible of the delay and corruption in the project were being referred to National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The initial cost of the project has already been enhanced to Rs 82 billion from Rs 38 billion. The project cost is likely to enhance further as the new land has is set to be purchased for constructing new runway.

Parliamentarians expressed serious concerns over long delay in the construction of new Islamabad International Airport projects.

Replying to a question of Sheikh Rohail Asghar, he said the actual cost has been increased by Rs 10,191 million due to variation orders, currency fluctuations and Inflation (basic estimation). Giving breakup he said Rs 3,742 million project enhanced due to variation orders, Rs 2,556 million due to currency fluctuations and Rs 3,893 million owing to inflation (basic estimation).

Replying to a question of Muhammad Muzammil Qureshi,  Javed Ikhlas said 15 aircrafts are being added in the fleet of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) for enhancing efficiency. He said PIA was being restructured. The privatization commission has been tasked to carry forward the privatization of core activities of national airline by divesting 26 percent of shares with complete management.

The privatization commission has selected a financial advisor in this regard. Such is being done to offset the airline from recurring losses and to improve service for the passengers. PIA has been provided Rs 16 billion in 2014 and USD 52 million in 2015 for the leasing of 5 ATR and 10 A-320 aircraft.

State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab told the National  Assembly that the new survey would be conducted for giving financial help to poor and deserving people of far flung areas under Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).

Replying a question of Shakila Nauman during question hour,  he said in many districts the facility of BISP is non existant. The PML-N government has enhanced monthly support from Rs 1200 to Rs 1500 per month. The poor are being supported across the board.

Source: APP