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LAHORE: The Punjab government has utilized 65 percent out of Rs 337 billion which were earmarked for development expenditures in the current financial year.

This amount has increased to Rs 346 billion after payment of pending dues by the federal government of the current annual development programme (ADP). This was disclosed by Chairman P&D during a meeting of the annual development programme 2021-22 at the P&D Board on Wednesday to review the progress. Provincial Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht chaired the meeting.

Chairman Planning and Development Abdullah Khan Sumbul briefed the participants that Rs 200 billion were allocated for ongoing schemes and out of this amount, Rs 83 billion of the released Rs. 129 billion has been utilized.

Similarly, Rs. 71 billion was earmarked for new schemes in the current budget. The government has utilized 68 percent of the released amount worth Rs 39 billion, he added. The 67 percent of the released budget of various development programmes has also been utilized, he further said.

Abdullah Sumbal added that the literacy and non-formal education department has utilized 87 percent budget, the urban development department used 86 percent while the planning and development department spent an 83 percent budget. Similarly, the labour and human resource used a 79 per cent budget, the sports and youth affairs department spent 79 percent budget, the energy department used 74 percent and the specialized healthcare spent a 73 percent budget in the current fiscal year.

All other departments have used more than 56 percent of their budget, he added. On the other side, the chairman P&D maintained that laws relating to the requisition of land are causing the delay in public-private partnership based projects.

The finance minister directed the line departments to ensure maximum progress and utilization of budget, adding that laws will be amended, if required, to remove impediments in PPP-mode projects and the government will also extend necessary support to the partners. The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Jawad Rafique, Chairman P&D Abdullah Sumbal, Secretary Finance Iftikhar Sahu and administrative secretaries. The meeting took stock of the issues relating to the utilization of budget and completion of ongoing schemes.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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