ISLAMABAD, May 2: The caretaker government has decided to put on hold the process for the approval of Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the next fiscal year until after the elections in order to let the new government take major development-related decisions.

According to a senior official in the Planning Commission, the caretaker government has not indicated a date for holding the meeting of the Annual Plan Coordination Committee (APCC) and the same is now expected to be convened after the elections.

The Ministry of Finance and the Planning Commission had previously planned to hold the APCC meeting tentatively in the last week of April and finalised broad outlines of the development programme.

“We have completed our job regarding budget allocations for PSDP and are waiting for a green signal from the government to call the APCC meeting,” said the official.

He said federal and provincial caretaker governments were engaged in election arrangements and therefore had no time for the PSDP and APCC meeting.

He said a meeting of the APCC could possibly be convened soon after the elections and then it would be for the new government to make adjustments at the level of National Economic Council.

The Ministry of Finance had in its budget circular to the line ministries and provinces had scheduled the meeting of APCC in the last week of April and that of the National Economic Council in the second week of May so that the federal budget could be announced by May 31. “We may have to postpone the meeting of the NEC until the last week of May and the federal budget would most likely to be announced in the first or second week of June,” said the official.

He said the PSDP for next year had been firmed up strictly in accordance with ceilings approved by the PPP government on March 6. The meetings of the priorities committee held in the first and second weeks of April had finalised allocations for development programme at Rs450 billion, about 25 per cent higher than the current year.

The priorities committee had also put the size of next year’s budget for service delivery by various ministries and divisions of the federal government at Rs278bn and defence budget at about Rs627bn, about 15pc higher than the current year.

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