ISLAMABAD: With the approval of an additional Rs20 billion by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) amid tight fiscal space, total spending for the parliamentarians’ schemes under the Sustainable Development Goals Achievement Programme (SAP) has touched Rs111 billion, up by 59 percent over Rs70 billion allocated for the current fiscal year.
The ECC of the Cabinet presided over by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was informed on Wednesday by the Cabinet Division in a summary that during the current fiscal year, Rs70 billion were allocated while additional funds of Rs17 billion and Rs3 billion through the TSG were also allocated subsequently.
On the recommendations of the Steering Committee on the SAP, an amount of Rs90 billion has already been released/transferred to the respective ministries/divisions and provincial governments’ development expenditure of Cabinet Division SAP for the execution of development schemes.
The ECC was informed that the Steering Committee on the SAP pointed out that many schemes of urgent nature of the deprived areas/communities were still required to be financed and implemented in the larger public interest, therefore,
Ministry of Planning, Development has requested the concerned ministries/divisions to surrender an amount of Rs20 billion in favour of the Cabinet Division under SDGs Achievement Programme (SAP) Development Expenditure of the Cabinet Division.
Accordingly, the concerned ministries/divisions have surrendered the amount of Rs20 billion for the Cabinet Division to obtain TSG of an equal amount during the year 2022-23. The ECC has approved Rs20 billion Technical Supplementary Grant/supple-mentary Grant in favour of the Cabinet Division for SAP.
The Ministry of Industries and Production submitted a summary on urea fertiliser requirement for the year 2023 and briefed on urea fertilizer situation in the country.
The ECC after detailed discussion allowed SNGPL based fertilizer plants i.e. Fatima Fertilizer (Sheikhupura) and Agritech to operate beyond May 31st, 2023 till August 31st, 2023 on indigenous gas with no subsidy requirement from the federal government.
Ministry of Climate Change and Environmental Coordination submitted a summary on the participation of Sindh’s Mangroves projects in voluntarily Carbon Markets and presented that Sindh Forest Department is implementing two Indus Delta Mangrove projects viz Delta Blue Carbon-I(DBC-I) and Delta Blue Carbon-II (DBC-II) to generate Carbon Credits and trade with international entities on Voluntary Carbon Market(VCM).
The ECC after discussion approved the proposal of the Ministry that the DBC-I and DBC-II projects as these were initiated prior to the commitment made under NDCs in 2021. These projects are expected to generate about US$ 200 to $220 million till 2043 with additional benefits of creating green jobs.
The ECC considered a summary of the Ministry of Energy (Power Division) on payment mechanism and agreements with Uch Power (Pvt) Limited. After discussion, the ECC approved the proposals of the Ministry for a Novation Agreement, Master Agreement, PPA Amendment that would result in the savings of Rs33 billion over a period of seven years.
The ECC considered and approved following Technical Supplementary Grants, Supplementary Grants of Rs4000 million in favour of the Ministry of Defence to meet its expenditures, Rs2.5 million in favour of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment Coordination to meet its expenditures, Rs263.988 million in favour of the office of Controller General of Accounts (CGA) for implementation of online billing solution in Federal and Provincial Accountant Generals.
The ECC also approved TSG. SG of Rs497.261 million in favour of the Ministry of Housing and Works for the execution of the development scheme titled, construction of railway underpass Gojra, district Toba Tek Singh, Rs420 million in favour of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to meet its budgetary shortfall for Information Services abroad and Rs10,746.216 million in favour of Federal Directorate of Immunization (FDI) to procure vaccines and syringes for uninterrupted supply to the provinces.
An amount of Rs25 million in favour of President Secretariat for ERE expenditures and Rs208 million in favour of the Intelligence Bureau to meet its employee-related expenses were also approved by the ECC.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023