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May 14, 2019

Govt to allocate Rs65 bn to develop deprived districts


May 14, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to launch Regional Equalization Programme with allocation of Rs60 to 65 billion in the upcoming budget to bring far-flung districts in all provinces at par with developed areas of the country.

It is also proposed that the allocation for controversial discretionary funding for Prime Minister’s SDGs programme through parliamentarians would remain intact and the government was going to allocate Rs24 billion for thisprogramme in the upcoming budget. “We have proposed same funding of Rs24 billion for SDGs programme through parliamentarians but it is not yet known whether its allocation will be increased or decreased on the directives of the top ruling elites,” said official sources.

For Diamer-Bhasha Dam, the proposed funding for this much awaited project would be standing at Rs22 billion in the next PSDP. For Agriculture sector, the government plans to increase funding in a major way during the upcoming financial year.

The Annual Plan Coordination Committee (APCC) is scheduled to meet on May 20 under chairmanship of the minister for planning that is all set to recommend the size of Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) at Rs675 billion for the next budget. The size of PSDP stood at Rs675 billion in the outgoing fiscal year 2018-19. It shows that the size of PSDP will remained unchanged at Rs675 billion for the next financial year.

“We are also proposing allocation of Rs250 billion for execution of projects in public-private partnership (PPP) mode,” said one top official and added that so the total size of the PSDP along with PPP mode could go up to Rs925 billion for the next budget.

For allocation of Regional Equalization Programme, the official that development projects for Southern Punjab, Balohistan, Southern KP and neglected areas of Sindh would be financed through this initiative during the next financial year.

The official said that Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a high-level meeting last week to review the development programme and it was decided that the size of federal PSDP would be kept at Rs675 billion in the next financial year. The bloc allocation of Rs127 billion has been supervised by the Finance Ministry that included special security and development funding for Fata, Prime Minister’s Youth Programme and others.

If this bloc allocation continued unabated then the planning managers will have to revise their development plan by not allowing much new schemes to become part of the new PSDP for the coming financial year. At the moment the planning managers are making efforts to make 150 to 200 new schemes as part of PSDP for the next budget.

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