MULTAN, Dec 30 (APP): Federal Minister for Communications Arbab Alamgir said on Friday that road infrastructure upgrade projects worth over Rs 600 billion were underway across the country and their completion would promote trade-related activities. Talking to media persons after opening a Rs 1596 million Yusuf Raza Gilani flyover in the city, he said that Rs 50 billion were being spent in south Punjab alone which also included Rs 15 billion projects.

He said that the National Highway Authority (NHA) could not execute its projects worth Rs 40 billion last year due to floods.

He said that the NHA controlled only 4.5 per cent of the total 1.26 million kilometre long road network in the country, which were around 12,200 kilometre, and some 85 per cent population of the country availed the facility.

He said that Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani had ordered completion of road infrastructure projects on priority and 60 per cent work was complete.

Arbab Alamgir said that no one should have any doubts about the completion of Multan-Faisalabad Motorway, adding that the ministry had received a go-ahead to complete the project.

The motorway project will be completed in three years, he added.
To a question, the Communications Minister said that rumour mills become active with the installation of a democratic setup but added that the conspiracies against democracy would be foiled with the power of ballot.

He said that the Pakistan People’s Party had a history of relentless efforts against anti-democracy forces and would continue its struggle through the power of ballot.

He, however, added that the present government was elected for five years and would complete its term as per the constitution. He said the PPP leadership was strong and had the ability to resolve problems of the people.

He regretted demands being made by some politicians for early elections and said that those who wanted the term of an elected government reduced to four years, should opt for amendment to the constitution.

He said that democratic governments had served the country for 30 years out of total 65 and it was unjust to blame them for all ills and to expect them to solve all problems in just four years.

He admitted that unemployment, price hike, gas and electricity shortage were genuine problems of the people and said the government was making sincere efforts to address them.

The minister said that the people would elect the present government for another five years if they were satisfied with its five-year performance.