MPs want ECC to probe poll complaints

KABUL (PAN): Low capacity of construction firms, interference in awarding contracts and material supply problems have led to improper execution of road projects, the public works minister told parliamentarians on Saturday.
Najibullah Ozhan, testifying before the Wolesi Jirga, said big road projects were yet to be initiated despite the passage of 11 years. The roads already built were of poor quality, he added.
Despite efforts, the ministry concerned had been unable to ensure the completion of road schemes on time and their safety, he said. “I have faced and continue to encounter problems with the supply of material. The issue will linger on,” he remarked.  
Ozhan added: “None of the companies registered with the Afghan government is genuine. Meddling in award of contracts persists. If I block one way of interference, another is used,” the minister complained, without naming the people involved.
Due to problems in the procurement law, they had been unable to receive funds from the Ministry of Finance in time to implement the projects, he explained, revealing some road-building firms had been referred to the Attorney General Office for failing to discharge their contractual obligations.
Ministry of Economy official Hukam Khan Habibi also took a dig at the poor capacity of construction companies, saying: “They produce impressive documents, but their capacity is exposed when project timelines approach.”
Ozhan was flooded with queries from 60 lawmakers. As he answered their questions, many MPs walked out of the house.  This prompted Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi to ask the minister to answer the questions of the legislators present.
In reply to a question from public representative Abdul Rahim Ayubi, Ozhan said his ministry was working on a system to deal with the problem of overloaded vehicles plying the Kabul-Kandahar highway.

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