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July 12, 2020

To jump-start sluggish economy: Ministries, divisions to spend Rs116 bn on development schemes

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July 12, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The planning ministry has authorised all ministries/ divisions and executing agencies to utilize 20 percent of allocated funds or Rs116 billion on development schemes in the first quarter (July-Sept) period of the current fiscal year.

“Without any condition of ways and means, the government allows ministries/ division to utilise 20 percent funding in first quarter of the current fiscal in order to jump-start the sluggish economic activities through the public sector investment,” top official sources in the Planning Commission confirmed to The News on Saturday.

The bloc allocation of discretionary PM’s SDGs programme will be released fully within first quarter of the current fiscal year.

The government made strategy to allow utilization of 20 percent funds in the first quarter, 30 percent in the second and third quarter, and 20 percent in the fourth quarter of the current fiscal in order to utilize development funds in an effective manner.

On the directives of PM, the government has relaxed all rules and procedures for the purpose of kick-starting the economic activities from the start of the current fiscal year.

The official said the ministries were asked to contact the Planning Ministry if they required additional funding after utilizing limit of 20 percent in the first quarter.

“The ministries can utilize 20 percent funding without seeking approval in shape of ways and means that was earlier placed by the Finance Division,” said the official.

The federal government allocated Rs650 billion for Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for the current fiscal year. The federal PSDP of Rs650 billion included foreign aid of Rs72 billion.

Accordingly, special interventions have been made to enhance allocation of ongoing projects and financing of new projects in Balochistan, Merged Districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan. The allocations of Balochistan projects were enhanced despite resource crunch from the current year’s allocation. In consultation with the Balochistan government, various projects have been budgeted including dualization and improvement of existing N-50 from Yarik-Zhob including Zhob Bypass, Jhal-Jhao Bela Section, Naukandi-Mashkhel in addition to other various road and water sector projects. Similarly, to harness hydropower potential of Gilgit-Baltistan, all on-going hydropower projects have been provided additional funds as compared to CFY. Likewise, in addition to annual development programme of Merged Districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 10 Years Development Plan for Merged Districts with an allocation of Rs24 billion is being financed.