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ISLAMABAD: The government has managed to utilise only 4.62 percent of the allocated funds for the new projects in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) during first two quarters of the current fiscal year 2020-21, officials said.

Senior officials of the Ministry of Planning and Development here on Monday while briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Planning, Development which met under the chairmanship of Senator Agha Shahzeb Durrani informed that the government included 300 new projects in the PSDP 2020-21.

The panel discussed and reviewed in detail the allocated, released and utilised funds during the first two quarters of the ongoing 2020-21.

The officials informed the panel that the total number of the projects in the PSDP 2020-21 is 998 of which 300 new and 698 are ongoing.

The total cost of the 998 projects amounts to Rs8,293 billion which include Rs650 billion PSDP allocations and Rs5,756 throw forward.

The government allocated Rs173 billion for 300 new projects in the PSDP 2020-21, the official informed but so far during the first two quarters (1st July to 31 December) only Rs8 billion or 4.62 percent was utilised on the new projects.

The officials said that likewise the government allocated Rs477 billion for the completion of ongoing projects but so far only Rs198 billion had been utilised.

Senator Rukhsana Zuberi asked about the procedure of the approval of the new projects, further directing the officials to provide the complete mechanism of the project approval in writing to the committee.

Official of the Planning Ministry informed that several steps had been taken for the timely completion of the projects.

The ministries have been authorised to release funds for the projects for which they are not required to seek clearance from the Ministry of Finance.

It was told that the current PSDP consist of the big projects of seven institutions which includes 520 infrastructure project, social 306 projects, production 55 projects, governance 26 projects, and one projects belongs to the ERRA, the official maintained.

Regarding extension work on River Swan bridge on GT road, the committee was informed that work on the project was started in May 2017 at the cost of Rs1,326 million and was due to be completed in May 2019.

However, work on the project was delayed and will now be completed in June 2021.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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