Pakistan: Rs 2 bn bill shakes earthquake authority

The earthquake authority has only Rs 1 billion budgeted this year for its various projects.

Islamabad: An earthquake authority in Pakistan has received a staggering Rs 2 billion bill for design and consultancy services while it has only Rs 1 billion budgeted this year for its various projects.

The bill of about Rs 2 billion was received by the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA).

Dawn said the massive bill was sent by National Engineering Services Pakistan (Nespak) for designing and consultancy services it provided to the authority.

The earthquake authority will now take up the issue with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

The media report said that if the matter was not resolved soon, the authority`s projects in flood-affected areas, which have already been delayed, will be further pushed back.

A source said former prime minister Shaukat Aziz had awarded the task of designing and consultancy for projects to Nespak, which sent its bill to the authority for its services at a rate of 17 percent of the cost of the projects.

He added that some private-sector firms were charging just 4-5 percent of the total cost for similar services.


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