ISLAMABAD: Despite financial constraints and disruptions caused by super floods last year, the Ministry of Planning, Development & Special Initiatives has released Rs 129 billion for development projects under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the fourth quarter of (2022-23). The Water Resource Division and Higher Education Commission (HEC) have been given top priority.
It is worth noting that in the last quarter of (2021-22), there was a zero release for PSDP, which resulted in the government shrinking the PSDP from Rs 700b to Rs 550b.
According to the latest data provided by the Planning Ministry, an amount of Rs 129b has been released for development projects under PSDP for the fourth quarter (2022-2023), including Rs 27b for Azad Jammu & Kashmir AJK, Gilgit-Baltistan GB and Ex-FATA.
An amount of Rs 30b was released to the Power Division to speed up the projects like Diamer-Bhasha Dam, Mohmand Dam, Kachi Canal, Nai Gaj Dam, while Rs 22b was released for Ministry of Communication to expedite the projects like Khuzdar-Kuchlak Road, Dualization & Improvement of Old Bannu Road. Rs 8b was released for HEC to complete the projects. Similarly, an amount of Rs 4 billion was released for the Ministry of Housing and Works, Rs 8b for the Ministry of Railway, and Rs 5b for the Power Division.
The Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal has been constantly struggling to cope with the economic challenges and has taken several initiatives for the country’s development, particularly the development of Balochistan which was badly devastated in recent floods. Since the incumbent government came into power in April last year, the Minister said that the PML-N government from 2013 to 2018 uplifted the economy and several mega projects including the CPEC were introduced, but unfortunately, the experiment of bringing the PTI rule shrank the PSDP to Rs 500 billion in April 2021.
The Ministry is committed to allocating funds for development projects despite financial constraints, and the release of Rs 129b for PSDP will be a significant step towards achieving the country’s development goals. The Ministry aims to prioritize the Water Resources and Higher to ensure the smooth implementation of social development initiatives.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023