Senate body expresses concern over rising toll tax rates on NHA

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Meeting of the Senate Standing committee on Communications was held under the Chairmanship of Senator Prince Ahmed Umer Ahmedzai here at the Parliament House on Friday to take briefing by the National Highway Authority (NHA) on the status of the recommendations by the Senate Standing committee in its meetings from July, 2021 till to date.

While inquiring about the mechanism for the toll plaza rates escalation the committee was apprised that the toll rates applicable to national highway shall be approved by the National Highway executive Board and the NHA has the authority to increase toll levels to meet the ever rising maintenance need. It was also informed that the increase is based on results in form of Robotic Process Automation RPA or (Constant Prepayment Yield) CPY or inflation (source Economic Survey of Pakistan by MoF) and the time period for escalation is three years or as need arises.

The NHA presented that the 10 pc annual toll escalation shall be applied from the 2nd operational year till 12th year of concession period and the 07 pc annual escalation shall be applied from the 13th year of concession period till last year of the concession period for the toll Rates Mechanism for Build-Operate-Transfer BOT PPP Contract as per the concession agreement M-2. Senator Kamil Ali Agha inquired on the law under which toll rates are determined and escalated and also sought briefing on the legal authenticity of the Concession Agreement (M-2).

The committee also showed concern over the rising rates of the tuck shops and restaurants with a cost of tea @ of Rs. 60 per cup on the motor way service areas. The committee recommended the NHA to give more powers to the district magistrate and the Price magistrate as to monitor and control the service rates of the motorway outlets.