ISLAMABAD: The government on Friday announced Rs900 billion Federal Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the year 2021-22, which is 38 per cent higher than the last year’s programme of Rs650 billion.

The mass of the National Development Programme, which includes the PSDP and the provinces’ development share, for the year 2021-22 will be Rs2,135bn which is 33pc higher than last year’s allocation of Rs1,324bn.

According to the budget 2021-22 document, of Rs900bn PSDP, Rs265bn are for transport and communications, Rs103bn for energy, Rs99bn for water resources, Rs40.93bn for housing and physical planning, Rs28bn for health, Rs5.12bn for education and training, Rs37bn for Higher Education Commission, Rs15.26bn for environment, Rs5.13bn for manpower and employment, Rs74bn for Sustainable Development Goals, Rs54bn for merged districts, Rs45bn for special areas (Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan), Rs34bn for less developed areas (North and South Balochistan Packages, Sindh Development Plan and GB Development Plan), Rs5.7bn for governance, Rs29.3bn for science and information technology, Rs15.5bn for production sector (industries, food and agriculture) and Rs37.4bn for other requirements.

“This is a development budget as we have increased PSDP for the next fiscal year by 40 per cent,” said Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin in his budget speech.

The minister said he was glad as the National Economic Council (NEC) had approved Rs2,135bn for the National Development Programme for 2021-22, which was 33pc higher than the last year’s allocation.

He said the government has given special attention to agriculture sector and announced the national action plan to improve yield of national crops.

To improve water storage capacity, the government would give due importance to three under construction big dams -- Dasu, Diamar-Bhasha and Mohmand, he said.

The minister said special attention was also being given to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, merged areas, less development areas, health, education, infrastructure and other sectors.

The budget document is an important policy instrument aiming to achieve sustainable economic growth and socioeconomic objectives of the government. “The outgoing fiscal year PSDP was made with a particular focus on strengthening the health sector and creating economic opportunities to combat widespread disruptions caused by Covi-19 pandemic,” it said.

In the coming year 2021-22, it said, the priority of the government was to further spur economic activities, therefore, the PSDP for 2021-22 had been enhanced by 38pc from Rs650bn in FY 2020-21 to Rs900bn, including foreign aid of Rs100bn.

“The focus of PSDP 2021-22 is on improving transport and communication facilities with special emphasis on inter-provincial and regional connectivity, investment in building large dams and water conservation systems as per the National Water Policy, augmenting and strengthening health sector infrastructure and service delivery, improving access to higher education, social protection, increasing employment and livelihood opportunities, reducing regional disparities, mitigating effects of climate change, building knowledge economy, enhancing agricultural productivity and ensuring food security and supporting Public Private Partnership initiatives through providing Viability Gap funding,” it added.

The document said Special Development Packages have been initiated under the Regional Equalisation Programme to ensure development of the deprived areas to bring them at par with developed regions of the country. The programme includes Accelerated Development Plan for Southern Balochistan, Karachi Transformation Plan, Socio-Economic Development of Gilgit-Baltistan, Sindh Development Plan for 14+ Priority Districts and enhanced allocation for newly merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

It said several projects were being launched under Public Private Partnership arrangement, including Sialkot-Kharian road, Sukkur-Hyderabad road, Kharian- Rawalpindi road, Balkasar-Mianwali road, Muzaffargarh-Mianwali road, Chaman-Quetta-Karachi highway (N-25), Karachi Circular Railway and Karachi-Pipri Freight Corridor.

Published in Dawn, June 12th, 2021

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