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ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Planning, Development and Special initiatives appears to have abandoned the practice of uploading weekly disbursements under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), a key element in transparency and accountability of the annual development programme, and requests to the Secretary, as well as, other staff members elicited no response once the query was conveyed to them.

This correspondent was given the run-around by Ministry officials and his interaction with the Secretary ended similarly when he was given time and after more than a two-hour wait informed that he should put the query in writing.

Ministry launches Rs40bn project for 20 poorest districts

The last status of authorization uploaded on the Ministry’s website is dated 03/09/21. The Summary of Consolidated Federal and Provincial Fiscal Operations 2022-23 for the first quarter (July-September) claims disbursement of Rs67.014 billion which is only 8.2 percent of the budgeted Rs 808 billion. This falls far short of the 20 percent allocation/ disbursement in the first quarter followed by 25 percent in the second quarter, 30 percent in the third quarter and 25 percent in the last quarter.

Rs800bn PSDP proposed for FY23, says planning minister 55

Officials on condition of anonymity told Business Recorder that this maybe attributable to extremely narrow fiscal space with the economic team leaders reverting to the flawed old practice of slashing development expenditure subsequent to an elevated current expenditure (budgeted as well as due to floods) to minimize the shortfall in the budget deficit target agreed under the IMF programme.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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