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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal has said that we proposed a total of Rs800 billion including Rs100 billion under public-private partnerships and Rs70 billion foreign aid for the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the next fiscal year 2022-23.

He said that the growth target for the next financial year 2022-23 will be five per cent which is anchored upon ensuring quality growth without triggering fiscal and external sector imbalances. Both the SBP and the Ministry of Finance endorsed this growth outlook.

He said that National Development Outlay for the financial year 2022-23 proposed at Rs2,184 billion including Rs346 billion as foreign aid including provincial development programmes.

“Under PSDP-2022-23 federation, there are proposed Rs26 billion for federal development projects, Rs58 billion proposed for Punjab, Rs62 billion for Sindh, Rs48 billion for Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Rs112 billion for Balochistan, Rs34 billion for Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Rs33 billion for Gilgit-Baltistan for development projects while emerged FATA will receive Rs50 billion.

Projects with 80 per cent expenditure have been fully financed for completion by June, 2023. 55 per cent of total allocation has been proposed for infrastructure sector, to ensure modern infrastructure and to attract foreign investment. Within infrastructure, T&C proposed allocation is Rs227 billion (29 per cent of the total size), water sector allocation is Rs83 billion (11 per cent) as per commitment made under the National Water Policy, energy sector’s proposed allocation is Rs84 billion (11 per cent of the total size), in addition, an amount of Rs84 billion will be mobilized as self-finance by the Power Division, Physical Planning and Housing proposed allocation is Rs39 billion i.e. five per cent of the total size.

Proposed allocation for PP&H is Rs39 billion since the construction sector not only assists in creating employment but also contribute to growth of allied industries.

Within social sectors, health and population proposed allocation is Rs23 billion, and Rs45 billion has been proposed for the education sector. Allocation of Rs60 billion is proposed to achieve sustainable development goals and ensure development at grassroots level.Rs50 billion has been allocated for merged districts of KP in order to bring them at par with other areas of country.

Proposed outlay for Science and IT is Rs25 billion. Similarly, proposed outlay for production sectors (industries, food and agriculture) is Rs18 billion. Rs90 billion have been earmarked to make Viability Gap Funding to encourage private sector investment in infrastructure,” the minister said while addressing a news conference on Saturday after a meeting of Annual Plan Coordination Committee (APCC).

He said that the proposed Rs800 billion has been submitted in the meeting of APCC which is ongoing and after discussion it would be recommended for National Economic Council (NEC) for approval.

He said that the Ministry has given priority to cater for on-going projects for timely completion through interactive consultation with ministries/ executing agencies. He said that CDWP/ ECNEC level projects with less than 20 per cent expenditure not performing due to certain issues, may be reviewed and postponed till fiscal space improvement.

Ahsan Iqbal said the government is allocating budget to solve the issues of water and electricity in Gwadar.

He said various schemes for youth of Balochistan will be launched to bring them at par with the rest of the country.

He said that the government is paying special attention to protect water resources of the country and in this regard dams which are under construction will be completed at fast track.

He said the Higher Education also remains the top priority of the government and its allocations will be protected and increased gradually. He further said that focus is also being made on IT, science and technology sectors.

He said 250 technical vocational institutes will be established to impart technical education to youth of the country. He said that the government would provide free laptops to the students on merit while the remaining students would give subsidy for laptops. He further added that the youth would be trained in order to cope with the challenges of cyber security and various schemes would be announced in the upcoming budget for their welfare.

He said the government will also take steps to improve the physical infrastructure of the country.

He said that the government proposed Rs10 billion from federal and Rs10 billion from provinces for a total of 10 less-developed districts of Pakistan and its amount would be increased from Rs20 billion to Rs30 billion.

The minister said that a Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan International University would be set up at Kuri Road Rawalpindi.

Answering a question, the minister said that Rs6 billion have been proposed for ML-1 Railway project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He said that Special Economic Zones will be completed on a fast track. He said that a Turn Around Pakistan (TAP) Conference would be held on June 15, in which, experts of every field would participate for recommendations to put the country on the right path.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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