ISLAMABAD, Nov 28: The Federal Cabinet on Wednesday doubled social sector allocations by utilizing financial assistance of Rs40 billion received from international donors.
“Financial allocation for the Khushhal Pakistan Programme has been more than doubled, bringing it to Rs15 billion from the existing Rs7 billion, an official announcement said.
The cabinet, presided over by President Gen Pervez Musharraf, was informed by the finance minister that a total of Rs40 billion received through foreign grants had now been allocated to maintain the budgetary allocations for the current financial year.
The meeting was assured of continued funding for the public sector development programmes.
It noted that budgetary situation and public sector development programme had both been affected by the events of the past two months.
The Khushhal Pakistan Programme to be completed by June 2002, would include low-cost housing, check dams, water channels and other community development projects, it added.
The maximum limit of such projects had been enhanced up to Rs10 million for the rural areas and Rs20 million for the urban area projects, it said.
President Gen Musharraf directed the relevant authorities that an override of 10 per cent and five per cent from the allocation of Khushhal Pakistan Programme should be given to Balochistan and NWFP respectively.
The budgetary allocation for the current year in the education sector had been increased from Rs2.5 billion largely for the primary education and education sector reforms, it added. Allocation for the health sector, including family planning, had been enhanced from Rs2.5 billion to Rs4.5 billion.
An additional amount of one billion rupees was also being allocated to the provincial governments for improving the law and order situation, it said.
“A special feature of these new allocation was provision of one billion rupees for food programme for schoolchildren,” it added.
The President directed the provincial governors who were also present at the meeting to ensure efficient and optimum utilization of the new budgetary allocations.
He also called for proper utilization of these funds within the current financial year and cautioned the executing agencies against any red-tape in the planning, approval and execution of the programme.
The cabinet approved a draft ordinance to protect the properties meant for the communal use of the religious minorities. The demand for such a legislation had been made by the minority communities to protect their properties situated in prime areas of cities and towns for religious and educational purposes.
The cabinet, it added, decided to accept the 1991 and 1993 amendments to the conventions on the International Maritime Organization. Since Pakistan has a vital interest in the maritime trade, employment of its sea-faring crew in international shipping industry and technical assistance from I.M.O., it was decided to approve the proposal to accept the amendments.
The cabinet granted approval with retrospective effect to an agreement on Merchant Shipping and related Maritime matters between the Government of Pakistan and Government of the Kingdom of Morocco to promote maritime traffic, establish joint maritime committee to promote cooperation between the two countries and cooperate for the development of ship-building and repair and transshipment of goods.
The President directed the provincial governors to ensure smooth and effective functioning of the recently-installed district governments.
The bureaucracy both at the district and the provincial levels should extend full cooperation to the District Nazims to make them effective and visibly strong district administrators, he said.
The President asked the governors and the chief secretaries to maintain close and frequent liaison with the district Nazims to facilitate resolution of the administrative and fiscal problems of district governments. He directed that rules of business for District Nazims should be made expeditiously.
The President said that Nazims had a vital role to play in the success of the district government system which would be measured by their ability to solve the problems of the common man.