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ISLAMABAD: For the last 20 years, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has been awarding contracts for airport parking to one company, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Senator Mian Mohammad Ateeq Sheikh said on Friday.

The MQM senator made the claim during a meeting of the Sub-Committee on Aviation which met at Parliament House under the chairmanship of Senator Azam Swati.

The matter of “illegal parking and entry fee at New Islamabad International Airport” was raised in Senate by Senator Ateeq Sheikh on May 15 and was referred to the committee.

The matter was raised in the Senate on May 15 and was referred to the committee

CAA representatives said that while awarding contracts, the authority follows the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority Rules.

The convenor sought complete details from CAA which justify why and how contracts for parking have been awarded to one particular company for years.

The committee also directed the CAA to undergo the process of rationalisation of parking fee at airports across the country after the current contract expires and before awarding a new contract.

According to a working paper submitted by CAA before the sub-committee, only two companies- Kohisar Enterprises and Tasneem Naqvi & Co were technically qualified for the establishment, maintenance and management for a fully automated car parking system at the Islamabad International Airport out of six companies.

He said out of these, Kohisar was the highest bidder and was awarded the contract in 2016.

Similarly, for the car parking system on BOT basis and the contract for the collection car parking fee was awarded to the technically qualified firm Syed Tasneem Hussain Naqvi &Co, which was also the highest bidder in 2015.

This company also won contracts for the Lahore airport in 2015 and the Multan airport in 2014 after qualifying and submitting the highest bid.

Mr Sheikh also had said cars are charges Rs90 when going to the airport.

The initial fee, he said, was Rs10 at Benazir Bhutto International Airport which was increased to Rs30 and now to Rs90 at the new airport, which was made functional last year.

During the committee meeting, CAA representatives said via their working paper that the new Islamabad International Airport falls under category A for which the car parking fee is Rs90 for three hours.

A representative said the approved rates are prominently displayed by the authorised contractor at both entry and exit points of the parking area.

The committee also heard complaints against the upgrading of superintendents posts to BPS-17 in CAA.

After hearing both sides of the argument, the committee said the CAA is an autonomous body and cannot be asked to replicate the upgrading procedures of federal or government bodies and that it can make its own decisions.

The committee was also told that the CAA has on its own also initiated a mechanism of upgrading of the posts of superintendents so that they can be provided with a promotional hierarchy.

It was also observed that the matter of complaint is sub-judice with the divisional court and the committee decided to wait until the court issues orders.

Published in Dawn, September 8th, 2018