ISLAMABAD - ISLAMABAD: The unprecedented hike in the prices of construction material resulted in delays in the execution of housing projects, the Ministry of Housing and Works to the Senate Standing Committee on Housing and Works on Monday.

The Senate committee meeting that held at the Parliament Lodges was chaired by Senator Haji Hidayatullah and was attended by Senator Saifullah Abro, Senator Prince Ahmed Omer Ahmedzai, Senator Fida Muhammad, Senator Saifullah Sarwar Khan Nyazee, Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi, Senator Muhammad Qasim, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Senator Afnanullah Khan and senior officers of the Ministry of Housing and Works along with its attached departments and agencies.

The committee discussed details of ongoing projects and reasons for delays, details of Pak PWD funds utilised for Malakand Division for the last 15 years besides briefing on project at Mauza Tamma and Morian particularly with regard to the murder of the landowner.

Regarding ongoing FGEHA projects the ministry informed the committee that due to unprecedented rise in construction material work was impossible to continue. It was revealed that price adjustment in the contract in line with Pakistan Engineering Council standard price adjustment guidelines did not cover the current hyper escalation of construction goods.

The committee was informed that the ministry was doing all in its power to come to an amicable resolution and has forwarded a summary of the issues to ECC for approval of recommendations.

The committee was informed that another hurdle that has played an important role in stalling projects pertains to land acquisition issues. Members took strong notice of phenomenally slow progress and stressed the need for rate analysis.

The committee emphasised that curbing work was illegal and the ministry must deal with this issue accordingly. Directions were given to submit rate analysis details of all projects to the committee. Need to set a limit for bids was asserted.  A sub-committee was also formed to review the matter in detail.

Discussing details of Pak PWD funds utilised for Malakand division in the last 15 years, the committee showed concern regarding documentation and directed the ministry to provide details related to the whole province in the next meeting.

Regarding housing project at Mauza Tamma and Morian, the matter was taken up by the committee to ensure that the aggrieved are compensated. It was asserted that numerous measures have been taken by FGEHA in this regard. About the murder of the land owner, it was asserted that the matter must be referred to the law enforcement agencies.

Discussing details of projects of the Ministry of Housing and Works in Sindh, the committee recommended that allocated funds for the province must be reviewed.