ISLAMABAD - Senate Standing Committee on Interior will take up an important issue of much-talked multi-billion rupees 'Safe City Project', a project conceived by the last PPP regime, in its meeting scheduled for today.
The committee has taken up the matter at a time when the Interior Ministry has finally decided to revive the project with the Chinese firm Huawei Technology after the project was held up as a result of Supreme Court's August 2012 decision. The court in its decision had declared the agreement, made with the Chinese company, invalid.
The committee that will meet under the chair of Senator Talha Mahmood will discus and review the implementation status on the recommendations made by it in its meetings held on September 17 and December 5, 2013.
The committee had taken up the issue of 'Safe City Project' last year and had showed its serious reservation over the process of awarding the contract to the Chinese company.
The committee had recommended to Interior Ministry as well as National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) that the orders of the apex court should be implemented as well as conveyed to the Chinese authorities. The apex court had asked the government that it could continue the project only on the condition that it reinitiates the process of procurement in a transparent manner in the light of the rules of Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA).
In a press conference held on Friday last, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had informed the media that they had decided to revive the agreement with the Chinese company and they were in the process of negotiations regarding the cost of the project.
Under the project, 1500 security cameras would be installed in the capital city to make it more secure. The contract was awarded to the firm after the then prime minister had waived the tendering process that is pre-requisite for the award of any contract.
In its previous meetings, the Senate committee had come to know that China's Exim Bank had already paid $68 million to Huawei though a single security camera had not been installed till yet since 2010 when the loan agreement was finalized between the government and the Chinese bank. NADRA authorities had also told the committee that an amount of $125,000 had also piled up against the government of Pakistan as markup.
The committee had remarked that the contract was awarded at much higher rates than the market value and had showed its surprise that a big amount of markup was outstanding against the project prior to the initiation of the project. It had also expressed its reservations over the terms and conditions of the loan agreement.