ISLAMABAD: Even though ending load-shedding is the government’s top priority, it has released just 12 per cent funds for power sector’s development projects out of the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) in the first five months of this fiscal year.
In a report released by the Planning Commission, the government has released only Rs15.7 billion for the power sector development projects until Dec 2 against an annual allocation of Rs130bn.
As if that was not enough, the government also released just Rs6.2bn for the development projects in the water sector against an annual allocation of Rs31.7bn, accounting for just 20pc.
Under the government’s disbursement mechanism, it should release 20pc funds each in first two quarters of a fiscal year followed by 30pc each in subsequent two quarters. As such, the average disbursements in first five months should be around 33.3pc of the annual allocation.
Federal ministries were provided with 26pc of development funds against 34pc target
Under this mechanism, the government should have disbursed about Rs44bn in first months instead of Rs15.7bn for the power sector. Also, the government should have about Rs10.6bn in first five months instead of Rs6.2bn. Lower disbursements meant the water and power sector projects were struggling to move with
the pace not matching the government top priority due to various difficulties.
The report said all the federal ministries were provided with Rs62bn in five months (about 26pc) against Rs234bn of annual allocation. Total disbursement for the entire PSDP were, however, jacked up to 31pc, or Rs248.7bn, against Rs800bn allocation mainly because of 100pc disbursements for parliamentarians schemes under the PM Global SDGs Achievement Programme, 42.5pc for security related expenditures and settlement of people displaced by operations in tribal region and 42pc releases for road sector projects, mostly under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
During the same period last year, the government disbursed about Rs238bn against annual allocation of Rs700bn, accounting for about 34pc. This meant the disbursements this year for PSDP projects were significantly lower than last year because of revenue shortfalls.
On the other hand, all the 38 federal ministries and divisions were provided with Rs62bn as of now against an annual allocation of Rs234.3bn. No funds were disbursed for special federal development projects for which Rs28bn had been allocated in the federal budget.
Pakistan Railways was one of the few preferred sectors that got a reasonable disbursement of Rs13.5bn by Dec 2 against its annual share of Rs41bn. Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) also received Rs7.2bn against annual allocation of Rs28bn.
The higher education commission (HEC) on the other hand was given Rs8.5bn against its annual share of Rs21.5bn.
On the other hand, national history and literary heritage division, textile division and foreign affairs divisions were given no funds at all in the first five months of this fiscal year. Same was the case with development projects under the Gas Infrastructure Development Fund for which Rs25bn had been allocated but no funds were released so far.
courtesy : dawn news