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ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives (MPD&SI) has agreed to allocate Rs 100 billion as Indicative Budget Ceiling (IBC) including foreign aid allocation for hydropower and water projects for FY 2023-24, well-informed sources told Business Recorder.

M/s PD&SI has urged Ministry of Water Resources to finalize the budgetary proposals for PSDP 2023-24 while adhering to following general policy guidelines and rationalization criteria: (i) PAO concerned is required to fully comply with the provisions the Public Finance Management (PFM) Act, 2019 particularly Chapter-l on development projects, guidelines and procedures contained in Financial Management and Powers of PAOs Regulations 2021,Cash Management and Treasury Single Account (CM&TSA) Rules 2020, Budget Manual 2020, instructions contained in the Budget Call Circular by Finance Division of January 25, 2023;(ii) guidelines contained in the PSDP call circular 2023-24 of February 9, 2023issued by M/o PD&SI and provisions in the Manual for Development Projects, December 2021 inter alia, may also be followed in letter and spirit; and (iii) PSDP FY 2023-24 may have special focus on mitigating climate change (green budgeting)specially in context of Pakistan’s C-PIMA and on other initiatives including gender budgeting.

PD’s FY24 uplift projects: Rs50bn indicative budget ceilings approved

According to M/s PD&SI, following priorities and guidelines shall be followed while submitting project-wise budgetary proposals for PSDP 2023-24 within allotted IBC: (a) as per Chapter-III (17) (1) Public Finance Management Act, 2019 no new project which has not been technically approved would be made part of the development budget; (b) to ensure scheduled completion of projects having 80% plus expenditure should be fully-funded which can be completed by June 2024;(c) on-going core projects of national significance may be assigned top priority for funding as per approved phasing in PC-1’s in line with Chapter III (17 (2) of PFM Act 2019;(d) consolidation of federal projects should be given top priority over provincial nature projects;(e) Foreign funded fast-moving projects may be provided with required rupee cover to meet international obligations within allotted IBCs;(f) projects supporting CPEC initiative, productivity, exports, IT and S&T (R&D), under 5Esand 4RF frameworks, better governance should be assigned importance; (h) procedure to clear the pending liabilities of closed projects approved by Ecnec on April 6, 2023 and notified by this Ministry on May 10, 2023 may be complied with; and (i) projects on innovative financing basis (VGF and PPP) in terms of co-sharing of cost and responsibility for O&M may be considered.

The Principal Accounting Officer (PAO) shall allocate adequate funds in the FY 2023-24 to clear the pending liabilities of on-going budgeted projects on priority.

The Water Resources Division has also asked to undertake rationalization of its demand/portfolio while keeping in view the following criteria / instructions: (i) the projects may be listed in order of priority within the given IBC while submitting budgetary proposals for both the ongoing and new projects; (ii) on-going projects budgeted during 2022-23 may be listed under the same PSDP No. for financing during 2023-24; (iii) non-performing/ non-starter projects since last two years may be reviewed for funding; (iv) un-approved projects should not be included in budgetary proposal; (v) funding of projects/activities of recurring nature/O&M nature should be avoided through PSDP.

For such activities, sponsors may approach Finance Division;(vi) foreign aided projects where foreign aid not yet lined up/no disbursement received during last two to three years may be considered for deferment for funding during 2023-24; (vii) no funds shall be kept for any lump provision or unidentified expenditure; (viii) matters related to grant of PSDP funds as Cash Development Loan (CDL), if any, may be settled with Finance Division on priority basis; and (ix) budgetary proposals should be submitted by the Ministry/Sponsor concerned itself in a consolidated form instead of piecemeal from attached departments/PDs.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Muhammad Zarar May 21, 2023 03:23pm
If these projects are also made ESG sustainable, they can be funded by GCC.
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