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ISLAMABAD: The Steering Committee on Sustainable Development Goals Achievement Program (SAP) headed by Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Ahsan Iqbal has urged Finance Division to grant exemption/ relaxation, in the light of available precedents, for transfer of un-utilized funds of Pak-PWD from PLA-1 account to PLA-III un-lapsable account so that available funds do not lapse and remain available for utilization, official sources told Business Recorder.

The 37th meeting of the Steering Committee on Sustainable Development Goals Achievement Program (SAP) was held on May 19, 2023 under the chairmanship of Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives and Chairman Steering Committee on SAP. Members and representatives of the concerned Ministries/ Divisions/ Provinces also attended the meeting.

The Steering Committee unanimously confirmed the minutes of its previous meeting held on February 22, 2023; however, with regards to allocation of funds to complete the ongoing schemes of district Swat, amounting to Rs. 350 million, it directed the Ministry of Housing & Works not to use any additional funds from the savings till further directions.

The sources said the committee discussed release of additional funds to the provinces/ federal ministers under SAP for FY 2022-23.

The Committee approved release of Rs 1 billion for FY 2022-23 in terms of para-4 (iii) of the SAP guidelines to Ministry of Housing and Works (Pak-PWD) for development schemes of Punjab under SAP. The Cabinet Division will issue surrender orders to the respective Ministry.

On the proposal to allocate additional funds of Rs 5 billion under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for FY 2022-23, the Committee was informed that additional funds amounting to Rs 5 billion would be required to finance schemes under SAP immediately.

After discussion, the Steering Committee granted approval of proposal of Rs 5 billion through a majority vote and directed the Cabinet Division to move a summary for additional grant of Rs 5 billion under SAP for CFY 2022-23.

The Steering Committee was informed that un-utilized funds amounting to Rs. 35.136 million were available with SEPCO out of which Rs. 32 million were needed to be transferred to GEPCO for execution of electricity schemes in Tehsil Kharian, District Gujrat.

The remaining funds of Rs. 3.136 million were to be utilized for the schemes “electrification in village Jan Muhammad Bugti, Tehsil Ubauro, District Ghotki”. The Steering Committee granted approval of the said proposal unanimously.

The Committee also discussed a proposal titled transfer of funds amounting to Rs 30 million from Punjab to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa under Ministry of Housing and Works (Pak- PWD) and approved it.

During discussion on a proposal about transfer of unutilized funds of Pak-PWD in PLA-III account, it was highlighted by the members of the Steering Committee that the funds released in the current financial year especially those released in May and June, 2023 were likely to lapse at the close of current financial year.

It was; therefore, required that a mechanism may be devised so that these funds remain available to complete the schemes.

The Steering Committee unanimously recommended and directed the Finance Division to grant exemption/ relaxation, in the light of available precedents, for transfer of un-utilized funds of Pak-PWD from PLA-1 account to PLA-III un-lapsable Account so that the available funds do not lapse and remain available for utilization.

The Steering Committee unanimously granted approval of execution of the scheme titled “construction of carpet road and culverts from Chah Lepy Wala to Dhelai Mouza, Qasba Marral, District Multan” amounting to Rs. 37.275 million out of the saving available with Central Civil Division, Pak-PWD, Multan.

The Steering committee unanimously recommended execution of construction of soling at Basti Chah Bootay Wala, Mouza Qasba Sani, Ayazabad Marral, Tehsil & District Multan amounting to Rs. 2.9 million against savings of scheme titled “construction of boundary wall for graveyard in Chah Chaar Yar, Qasba Saliss, Ayazabad Marral, Tehsil & District Multan, available with Central Civil Division, Pak-PWD Multan”.

The Steering Committee recommended that the concerned Federal Ministries/ Divisions and Provincial Governments may get the schemes identified by the community members as per SAP Guidelines by June 30, 2023 and fulfil all codal formalities for approval of the schemes, so that implementation work may start well in-time in the next Financial Year 2023-24.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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