Govt seeks ap­proval to cut ex­pen­di­tures on new devel­op­ment projects

Enterprise - - National News -

Gov­ern­ment has moved a sum­mary be­fore the Na­tional Eco­nomic Coun­cil (NEC) seek­ing its ap­proval to fi­nalise 12th five-year plan, pre­pare framework for sus­tain­able devel­op­ment goals and re­view per­for­mance of devel­op­ment pro­grammes.

Prime Min­is­ter Shahid Khaqan Ab­basi is sched­uled to head NEC meet­ing soon in which the gov­ern­ment would seek ap­proval to stop ex­pen­di­tures on the new devel­op­ment projects whose al­lo­ca­tion was less than 25 per­cent of total ap­proved cost dur­ing the cur­rent fis­cal year of 2017/18.

The 12th five year plan will be in line with Vi­sion 2025 and its prepa­ra­tion will be fi­nalised by June while it will be im­ple­mented from next fis­cal year of 2018/19.

The gov­ern­ment has en­vis­aged rais­ing GDP growth to 7.5 per­cent over the five years (from 2018 to 2023).

“We will move to­wards in­clu­sive growth,” the of­fi­cial said. “Af­ter get­ting ap­proval from NEC on ap­proach pa­per the prepa­ra­tion of de­tailed five year plan would get mo­men­tum.”

The sum­mary, moved to the NEC, which is the high­est eco­nomic de­ci­sion mak­ing fo­rum of the coun­try, said the min­istries/di­vi­sions are re­quested not to make ex­pen­di­tures on the projects for which al­lo­ca­tion for 2017/18 is less than 20 per­cent of ap­proved cost with­out ap­proval of min­istry of plan­ning, devel­op­ment and re­forms. How­ever, the limit has been raised to 25 per­cent on the di­rec­tion of Public Ac­counts Com­mit­tee.

“The min­istries/di­vi­sions in­formed the Plan­ning Com­mis­sion that 257 projects would be com­pleted by end of June 2018,” it said. “Other 44 projects can also be com­pleted dur­ing the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year if ad­di­tional fund of Rs16.6 bil­lion could be ar­ranged for these projects.”

The gov­ern­ment re­leased Rs550 bil­lion in July-Fe­bru­ary pe­riod out of Rs1,001 bil­lion ear­marked for public sec­tor devel­op­ment pro­gramme (PSDP).

Gov­ern­ment spent the whole dis­burse­ment of Rs51 bil­lion meant for spe­cial al­lo­ca­tions, in­clud­ing Rs30 bil­lion for Prime Min­is­ter’s global SDGs (sus­tain­able devel­op­ment goals) achieve­ments pro­gramme, utilised through mem­bers of par­lia­ment, just in the July-Septem­ber pe­riod.

The gov­ern­ment dis­bursed Rs42.075 bil­lion for spe­cial fed­eral devel­op­ment pro­gramme for tem­po­rar­ily dis­placed per­sons and se­cu­rity ar­range­ments out of the total al­lo­ca­tion of Rs90 bil­lion and Rs9.199 bil­lion for PM’s Youth and Hu­n­ar­mand (skilled) Pro­gramme out of the al­lo­ca­tion of Rs20 bil­lion.

Other de­ci­sions, which have been sub­mit­ted for the pe­rusal of NEC, in­clude the PSDP per­for­mance re­view in the con­text of ac­tual funds re­leased dur­ing July 2017 to Feb 19.

The sum­mary fur­ther said ad­di­tional de­mands for funds could not be con­sid­ered due to small sav­ings.

The Plan­ning Com­mis­sion said meet­ings were held with fi­nance di­vi­sion, at the start of the cur­rent fis­cal year, to work out modal­i­ties for re­lease of funds to en­sure max­i­mum util­i­sa­tion and re­duce time re­quired for re­lease of PSDP funds.

Sub­se­quently, the fi­nance di­vi­sion waived off the ‘ways and means’ con­di­tion for clear­ance of devel­op­ment funds dur­ing the first quar­ter (July-Sept). The funds of on­go­ing projects were pro­vided to min­istries/di­vi­sions/cor­po­ra­tions on a fast track basis dur­ing the first quar­ter.

Plan­ning min­istry un­der­took the first quar­ter re­view un­der the di­rec­tion of NEC and held meet­ings with all the min­istries/di­vi­sions and pro­vin­cial govern­ments. In these meet­ings, it was de­cided that plan­ning min­istry would re­quest all min­istries/di­vi­sions to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion of all those projects which could be com­pleted in sec­ond, third and fourth quar­ters of the cur­rent fis­cal year. The gov­ern­ment also sought de­tails of those projects which could be com­pleted with ad­di­tional al­lo­ca­tions by June 30.

Dur­ing the first quar­ter re­view, the min­istries/ di­vi­sions raised de­mand for ad­di­tional fund of Rs69.4 bil­lion and ma­jor de­mands were from min­istry of wa­ter re­source (Rs23.9 bil­lion), Earth­quake Re­con­struc­tion and Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Author­ity (Rs21.1 bil­lion), mar­itime af­fairs di­vi­sion (Rs5.4 bil­lion), Na­tional High­way Author­ity (Rs2.5 bil­lion), and min­istry of hous­ing and works (Rs2.5 bil­lion). The min­istries/di­vi­sion iden­ti­fied sav­ings of Rs0.8 bil­lion which was quite neg­li­gi­ble keep­ing in view the ad­di­tional fund de­mand of Rs69.4 bil­lion.

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