ISLAMABAD: The utilisation of development funds in three larger provinces has exceeded revised estimates during the outgoing financial year than the initial allocation on the eve of the budget for...
ISLAMABAD: The utilisation of development funds in three larger provinces has exceeded revised estimates during the outgoing financial year than the initial allocation on the eve of the budget for 2022-23. Except for Balochistan, all three larger provinces Punjab, Sindh, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are going to exceed the development spending so the overall utilisation of funds under Annual Development Plans (ADPs) might touch Rs2000 billion mark against the allocated amount of Rs1692 billion on occasion of the last budget for 2022-23.
According to working paper approved by the Annual Plan Coordination Committee (APCC) on Friday showed that Punjab’s original ADPs stood at Rs685 billion on the occasion of the budget with local rupee component of Rs619 billion and foreign aid of Rs54 billion. Now the revised estimates showed that the development funds under ADPs might go up to Rs712 billion with local rupee component of Rs656 billion and foreign aid of Rs46 billion for the outgoing fiscal year ending on June 30, 2023.
It is amazing that the Punjab’s ADP was estimated to hover around Rs426 billion for the next budget 2023-24 with local rupee component of Rs300 billion and foreign aid of Rs126 billion. The reasons behind slashing down of the development budget might be provincial government’s announcement of just 120 days budget because of interim arrangement. The revised estimates of ADP’s utilisation in Sindh showed that the development budget was fixed at Rs424 billion on eve of the budget for 2022-23 with local rupee component of Rs332 billion and foreign aid of Rs92 billion. The revised estimates indicate that the ADPs funding might go up to Rs442 billion with local rupee component of Rs268 billion and foreign aid of Rs123 billion.
However, the Sindh’s ADP budget for next financial year will go up massively and will be standing at Rs617 billion for 2023-24 with local rupee component of Rs350 billion and foreign aid of Rs267 billion. In case of KP government, the ADPs original budget was fixed at Rs376 billion on eve of the budget and the revised estimates showed that it would be standing at Rs373 billion for the outgoing fiscal year. For the next budget 2023-24, the ADPs funding would be estimated at Rs268 billion.
For Balochistan, the ADPs funding stood at Rs207 billion for the current fiscal year and the revised estimates showed that the utilisation of funds would be standing at Rs150 billion till end of June 2023. For the next budget 2023-24, Balochistan’s ADP funding would be allocated at Rs248 billion. The working paper reads out by stating that the provincial governments were consulted for sharing the data regarding respective ADPs for revised estimates 2022-23 and budget estimates 2023-24.
The governments of the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have shared budget estimates for July-October 2023 only. It is expected that full year target of provincial ADPs would be over Rs2,000 billion. For the Center’s Public Sector Development Program (PSDP), the federal government had allocated Rs727 billion funding and so far sanctioned funds stood at Rs655 billion till May 31, 2023. The utilisation of funds stood at just Rs456 billion only so far.
Some inter-grant adjustments/TSGs (Technical Supplementary Grants) were also recommended to ensure optimum utilisation of PSDP. During July 2022-May 2023, an amount of Rs64 billion re-appropriated by ministries/divisions whereas TSGs amounting to about Rs75 billion were recommended to important projects/programmes within the approved size of PSDP 2022-23.
The sources said that the major chunk of diverted funds were utilised for controversial Sustainable Development Goals Achievement Program (SAP) for parliamentarians in the outgoing fiscal year. The SAP funding for parliamentarians was increased from original allocation of Rs68 billion to Rs111 billion so far in accordance with the revised estimates of the current fiscal year.
An amount of Rs12 billion was diverted from PSDP 2022-23 to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) during CFY to conduct 7th Population and Housing Census as per approval by the Federal Cabinet. Likewise, an amount of Rs0.8 billion was adjusted to current side by M/o Maritime Affairs for Provision of 2000 Engines to poor fishermen, Gwadar. Thus, the size of PSDP 2022-23 reduced to Rs714 billion which may be discouraged in future, the working paper concluded.