ISLAMABAD - The cash-starved government has failed to meet the funds releasing criteria for the Public Sector Development Programme of the country during first three quarters (July-March) of the ongoing financial year 2013-2014, apparently to control the budget deficit.
The government has released Rs 242.8 billion during first three quarters (July-March) of FY2014 as against Rs 297.5 billion, which was supposed to be released in period under review as according to the disbursement mechanism. As per cash releasing mechanism, the government has to release 70 per cent funds for the development sector of the country during three quarters (starting from July to March). However, the government had released only 57.12 percent funds in the period under review apparently due to control budget deficit.
The government, which is struggling to meet the revenue collection, is heavily depending on non-tax revenue and releasing funds for development projects at much slower pace to restrict budget deficit. The government wants to restrict the budget deficit within limit of 5.8 per cent of the GDP (around Rs 1500 billion) agreed with International Monetary Fund. Budget deficit remained at over three percent during eight months of the FY 2014.
It is worth mentioning here that PML-N government had already shelved the Prime Minister’s special initiative scheme worth of Rs 115 billion following the massive revenue shortfall during this year FY2014. The government had allocated Rs 540 billion in the budget 2013-2014 for development programme of the country including Rs 115 billion for Prime Minister’s special initiative scheme. However, the government had revised the PSDP to Rs 425 billion for PSDP.
Therefore, the government would now release the funds according to revised estimates of Rs 425 billion. According to the break-up of Rs 242.81 billion released during three quarters of the ongoing financial year, the govt has disbursed Rs 138.60 billion for different ministries and divisions, Rs 73.93 billion for corporations like National Highway Authority and WAPDA, Rs 21.21 billion for special areas like Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and FATA/SAFRON and Rs 8.7 billion on ERRA. The government has released maximum amount, Rs 44.514 billion, for Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), followed by Rs 25.87 billion for Water and Power division, Rs 18.88 billion for Railway Division, Rs 17.827 billion for National Health Services Regulations and Coordination Division and Rs 12.1 billion Higher Education Commission (HEC). Similarly, the government has released Rs 34.67 billion for National Highway Authority and Rs 39.864 billion for WAPDA.