CDA unveils Rs27bn budget with major focus on development

Updated June 15, 2019

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The budget was approved by the CDA board at a meeting chaired by its chairman Amer Ali Ahmed. — Ishaq Chaudhry/File
The budget was approved by the CDA board at a meeting chaired by its chairman Amer Ali Ahmed. — Ishaq Chaudhry/File

ISLAMABAD: After failing to meet many targets in the outgoing financial year, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Friday approved its budget of Rs27 billion for the year 2019-20.

The budget was approved by the CDA board at a meeting chaired by its chairman Amer Ali Ahmed.

The total outlay is over Rs27bn but till such a time budgetary allocations for the MCI staff is made by the federal government or the MCI itself, the CDA would hold back Rs3bn under the head of ‘Pay and allowances and utility charges.”

Almost 50pc of funds are already available so targets mentioned in budget will be met, spokesman says

The civic agency said Rs10.8bn had been earmarked for different projects which included development of sectors for which PC-1 had been approved.

“This time, almost 50pc of the funds are available with the CDA so targets mentioned in the budget will be met,” said CDA spokesman Syed Safdar Ali.

“In this budget, we focused those development projects whose PC-I and PC-11 were approved by the CDA-DWP during the last three months. Contracts for G-7/G-8 underpass and Park Enclave leftover work have already been floated,” he said.

Member Finance Dr Fahad Aziz briefed the board about the budget and also focused on proposals for enhancing CDA’s revenue.

According to the budget documents, the total outlay of budget is Rs27.1bn which included Rs2.96bn for government grants, Rs21.07bn for development and non-development expenditure and Rs3.05bn for pay and allowance and utility charges.

The CDA’s receipt are estimated at Rs22.82bn which mainly included Rs8.5bn expected from the auction of commercial plots and A balance receipt to be accrued from previous auctions amounting to Rs8.69bn.

Besides, Rs4.43bn receipts are expected under revenue accounts.

The CDA also allocated Rs797.19m for various Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) projects, including the signal-free Islamabad Expressway. The federal government has allocated only Rs425m for the expressway against the demand of Rs10bn made by CDA.

According to the documents, Rs500m have been allocated for underpasses of G-8/G-9 and F-7/F-8 at Faisal Avenue, Rs100m for construction of Barmah Bridge at Lehtrar road, Rs50m for construction of an additional block of CDA Hospital and Rs425m for signal-free corridors.

Besides, Rs1bn have been earmarked for development of I-15 and Rs500m each for development work of E-12 and I-14.

Whereas, Rs2bn have been allocated for provision of land acquisition, built-up property claims and for payment to the affected people whose land have been acquired.

In line with the policy of the federal government to substantially curtail non-development expenditure, the CDA said it did not propose any increase in the non-development expenditure.

“The increase in pay and allowances and utility charges will be met from within the proposed budgetary provision by enforcing strict austerity and economy measures.”

The CDA had approved a budget of Rs40.5bn for the financial year 2018-19. However, majority of the projects reflected in the budget remained on paper only. The CDA had earmarked Rs1bn for development of I-15 and Rs100m for the construction of service road south in Blue Area.

Moreover, Rs500m were allocated for construction of 7th Avenue intersection, Rs500m for conduction of water from the Indus Water System and Rs100m for the first ever proper landfill site. An amount of Rs100m was earmarked for construction of Burma Bridge on Lehtrar Road and Rs100m were set aside for the Shakarparian Culture Complex.

Besides other projects, Rs100m were also allocated for the construction of roads in the proposed Kuri Model Village. But most of the projects could not be executed.

Revenue generation

Like every year, the finance wing of the authority once again called for revenue generation efforts. It said additional sources of revenue and receipts under the self-financing and revenue accounts were required to be explored by the concerned formations.

The proposal said there were 50 private housing schemes under the jurisdiction of the authority and the planning wing should consider levying building control fee to generate revenue.

Opening of new sectors will also increase earning of the authority. A mechanism may be explored for collection of transfer fee from high-rise buildings.

The documents said according to an agreement between CDA and the DHA, about 700 plots were to be made available to the civic agency and concrete steps were required to be taken to materialise the project.

It said a number of CDA properties were stuck up due to litigation and there was a need to take steps by the law directorate to clear the properties so that it could be utilised to enhance its revenue.

Published in Dawn, June 15th, 2019