Pace of uplift funds release picks up

Published December 19, 2020
The Plan­ning Commission has quickened the pace of authorisation of funds for the Public Sector Development Pro­gramme (PSDP) to meet requirements of the Public Finance Management Act introduced last year under covenants agreed with international lending agencies.  — AFP/File
The Plan­ning Commission has quickened the pace of authorisation of funds for the Public Sector Development Pro­gramme (PSDP) to meet requirements of the Public Finance Management Act introduced last year under covenants agreed with international lending agencies. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Plan­ning Commission has quickened the pace of authorisation of funds for the Public Sector Development Pro­gramme (PSDP) to meet requirements of the Public Finance Management Act introduced last year under covenants agreed with international lending agencies.

Data released by the commission on Friday put the total authorisation of funds for federal development projects at Rs320.24 billion, which comes to more than 49 per cent of the annual budget allocation of Rs650bn.

During the same period last year, the Planning Commission had authorised disbursement of Rs257bn, or 46.6pc of the annual allocation of Rs551bn.

Under an altered strategy, the commission has now excluded block allocations that used to be managed by the finance ministry or the Cabinet Division mostly for political reasons and shown as part of the PSDP.

As such, special projects for the districts of tribal region merged with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, resettlement of displaced persons and politically oriented funds for special development goals are no longer part of the PSDP because diversion of major part of these funds for security enhancement through technical supplementary grants used to generate political controversies.

Under the Public Finance Management Act, 2019 the finance ministry has now put in place a new strategy for release of funds for development projects. This requires the finance ministry to release development funds at the rate of 20pc in the first quarter and 30pc each in the second and third quarters of the fiscal year. The remaining 20pc is to be released in the last quarter.

The Planning Commission said it had authorised about 56.5pc (Rs207bn) of the total annual allocations for development projects under the federal ministries (Rs366bn). In comparison, total authorisation for ministries last year stood at Rs134bn, or 44.2pc of the Rs304bn allocation.

Similarly, the commission authorised release of about Rs87bn as of Friday to two major entities — the National Highway Authority and the power sector — accounting for 55pc of their annual allocation of Rs158bn.

During the same period last year, Rs100.5bn (51pc) was released against the total annual allocation of Rs198bn.

The authorisation of funds for development in Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, however, remained almost unchanged at 48pc as of December 18 of both the years. During the current year so far, about Rs25bn has been authorised for utilisation out of a Rs52bn allocation, while Rs21.5bn out of Rs45bn was disbursed last year in the same period.

The data showed that the finance ministry had so far utilised slightly over Rs33bn as of Friday against an allocation of Rs66.7bn for the whole year. In the comparable period last year, the ministry had utilised Rs5bn against an allocation of about Rs12.8bn.

The authorisation of funds for the Higher Education Commission also remained unchanged at Rs14bn in both the years against a total allocation of over Rs29bn.

The Water Resources Division has received about Rs45bn so far this year compared to Rs38bn in the same period last year even though the total allocation for the current year at Rs81bn is lower than last year’s Rs86bn.

Published in Dawn, December 19th, 2020

Opinion

Editorial

Debt deferment
Updated 26 Sep, 2022

Debt deferment

Pakistan’s dollar funding needs for next 5 years have never been so large and world’s appetite to hold its hands never so poor.
Dengue concerns
26 Sep, 2022

Dengue concerns

AS weather conditions change in Pakistan, the threat of dengue looms large over the land. According to a warning...
Relic of colonialism
26 Sep, 2022

Relic of colonialism

THE law on sedition, one of several holdovers of colonial times, is among the most handy instruments for controlling...
UNGA speech
25 Sep, 2022

UNGA speech

CRISES test a nation’s resilience but also provide opportunities to rise and move forward. Prime Minister Shehbaz...
Dar’s return
Updated 25 Sep, 2022

Dar’s return

Dar will now be expected by his party to conjure up fiscal space for the govt to start spending ahead of the next elections.
Iran hijab protests
25 Sep, 2022

Iran hijab protests

FOR over a week now, Iran has been witnessing considerable tumult after a young woman died earlier this month in the...