ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday, taking serious notice of the incidents of harassment of transporters by officials, directed to formulate a comprehensive plan for strict action.

The prime minister stated this while chairing a meeting on the issue of implementation of National Highways Safety Ordinance 2000, the reservations of stakeholders and future course of action regarding implementation of the law.

The prime minister stated that implementation of National Highways Safety Ordinance 2000 would help in ensuring roads safety.

However, he said concerns of stakeholders, condition of roads, capacity of modes of transportation, i.e cargo trucks and freight trains, and most importantly the impact of implementation of legislation on common man, must be given due consideration. 

He stressed that insufficient modes of transportation and state of country’s economy essentially required that before immediate enforcement of the law, it must be ensured that implementation of the law does not adversely impact industry and the people.

The prime minister directed that all facts should be placed before courts for pleading a phased implementation of the law. Simultaneously, increasing number of cargo trucks and enhancement of capacity of Pakistan Railways should also be focused.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Communications Murad Saeed, Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razzaq Dawood and senior officials from the ministries of communications and commerce.

The progress made so far on implementation of National Highways Safety Ordinance 2000, the reservations of the stakeholders regarding the axle load and the orders of the courts were discussed during the meeting.

Secretary Communications Jawad Rafiq Malik, briefed the meeting on progress made so far regarding implementation of National Highways Safety Ordinance 2000, the current condition of road infrastructure and current state of modes of transportation including availability of cargo trucks, capacity of freight trains of Pakistan Railways to handle dispatch of consignments.

The economic impact of the enforcement of law relating to axle load and the reservations of the concerned stakeholders were also highlighted by secretary communications.

The prime minister was informed that National Highway Authority incurs an annual expenditure of Rs65 billion on maintenance of roads, damaged as a result of overloading. The excess load on trucks does not only result in damage of roads but also is a major factor for road accidents causing loss of valuable lives.

The meeting also discussed in detail the problems being faced by the transporters, particularly issues of corruption/bribes and harassment by the officials.