KARACHI - The delayed release of funds from federal government is severely affecting the pace of development projects in Sindh as Islamabad has released only Rs 4.652 billion for the uplift schemes under the Public Development Sector Programme during nine months (from July to March) of the current FY2008-09. A senior official of the Sindh government told The Nation that at least 55 Sindh based development schemes/projects were included in the Federal PSDP of current FY2008-09, while Rs 18.469 billion were earmarked for these schemes of various sectors in the province of Sindh. But, central government released only Rs4.652 billion for these schemes during July to March of this fiscal year, which stood at less than 20 per cent of total allocation, an official said. According to official, the status of majority of those 55 schemes was ongoing and work was continued despite expiry of completion period. The official concerned of the Sindh Planning and Development Department attributed the delay and slow release of funds by federal government as main reasons behind non-completion of the development schemes. Out of Rs 4.346 billion earmarked for 4 Agriculture sector projects in FY2008-09, the federal government has released meagre amount of Rs 447.398 million during July to March of this fiscal. The status of four Agriculture sector projects involving Rs28.822 billion was also ongoing and started in previous government. The mega projects such as Rs22.523 billion National Programme for Improvement of 29000 water courses in Sindh, Asian Development Bank assisted Agriculture sector development loan with Rs6.283 billion, Water conservation and productivity enhancement through high efficiency project with Rs4.210 billion and other schemes continued in this fiscal. Meanwhile, out of Rs6.860 billion earmarked for 9 water sector schemes, Islamabad released only Rs900 million during nine months of this fiscal. Sindh government official said the six months releases from July to December of this fiscal were only Rs2.875 billion which stood at 6.422 % of the total allocation of Rs18.469 billion for PSDP 2008-09. The delayed release of funds has hampered implementation of some of the very important development schemes, which include Extension of Right Bank Outfall Drain from Sehwan to Sea (RBOD-II), Lining of Distributaries and Minors in Sindh, Revamping/ Rehabilitation of Irrigation & Drainage System in Sindh, official said. He further said during first half of this fiscal 08-09, no releases were made against 33 schemes out of 55, which have impacted upon process of timely completion of the schemes of public utility.