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June 12, 2019

Budget freezes PSDP spending, CPEC allocations slashed by 44pc

Top Story

June 12, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The PTI government has halted the growth of development spending in the next fiscal year and cut allocations for the flagship China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects by almost 44 percent despite foreseeing a slowdown in economy, budget documents revealed on Tuesday.

The government allocated Rs110 billion for CPEC projects in the 2019/20 fiscal year, while it earmarked Rs198 billion in the public sector development program (PSDP) for the China-backed projects for the outgoing 2018/19 fiscal year.

The PSDP data showed that the total allocated amount of federal share of PSDP stood at Rs675 billion, while the government earmarked Rs250 billion under the public-private partnership mode. Therefore, total PSDP was envisaged at Rs925 billion. The overall national development outlay stood at Rs1.837 trillion, including Rs925 billion as federal PSDP and Rs912 billion as provincial annual development plans for the next fiscal year.

The government allocated Rs24 billion for the budget for the Prime Minister’s sustainable development goals program executed through parliamentarians. It has allocated Rs195.522 million for construction of official residence of chairman senate at the minister enclave.

The government allocated Rs28.648 billion for Higher Education Commission. Overall, it earmarked Rs32 billion for education program including Higher Education Commission, Rs36 billion for the finance division, Rs516 million for information and broadcasting, Rs44 billion for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan, Rs12.047 billion for national food security and research, Rs13.376 billion for National Health Services Regulation & Coordination Division, Rs24.457 billion for Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, Rs9.470 billion for planning, development and reforms, Rs16 billion for railways, Rs6 billion for Suparco and Rs85.021 billion for water resource division in the budget 2019/20.

The government allocated Rs295 billion for ministries/divisions, Rs189 billion for corporations such as National Highway Authority and Water and Power Development Authority, Rs40 billion for special areas of Azad Jammu and Kashmir-Gligit Baltistan, Rs24 billion for merger of federally administered tribal areas’ (FATA) districts into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Rs5 billion for Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority and Rs13 billion for knowledge economy initiative.

The government allocated Rs100 billion for special programs managed by the finance division in the next budget. That included Rs65 billion for special development program for internally-displaced persons and security enhancement of FATA, Rs10 billion for Prime Minister’s youth skill development initiative, Rs22 billion for 10 years development plan of merged areas of FATA, Rs2 billion for Clean Green Pakistan Movement and Rs1 billion for gas infrastructure development cess.

The infrastructure sector has been allocated 64 percent of Rs575 billion meant for ministries/divisions. The government allocated Rs200 billion for transport and communication sector. This included Rs160 billion for national highways, Rs16 billion for railways and Rs24 billion for other projects, including aviation scheme.

Allocation for water sector should be 10 percent of PSDP under the National Water Policy. The government allocated Rs70 billion for water sector. Kachhi canal project will be completed during next two to three years.

The government planned Rs120 billion as investment in the energy sector. Of that, Rs80 billion was allocated in the budget, while National Transmission and Dispatch Company/power generation companies/Water and Power Development Authority would invest Rs40 billion on transmission and distribution from self-generated resources.

Inter-connection of isolated Makran Network via Nag Basam Grid Station from Panjgoor will be completed within next three years.

The allocated funds for the government’s program of Rs10 billion worth of tree tsunami program stood at Rs8 billion. For development of Islamabad Capital Territory, a special package of Rs10 billion was allocated to improve sewarage and sanitation, water supply and roads.

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