ISLAMABAD   -  To further slash down the PSDP spending, the government has closed down 12 projects of the ministry of planning, development and reforms, worth around Rs 13 billion, including the Vision 2025 project launched by the previous government. Of the total 27 projects under the ministry of planning development and reforms, 12 have been closed down, according to the official document available with The Nation. The total cost of the 27 projects under the ministry of planning, development and reforms was around Rs 25 billion.

The 12 projects that have been closed include, Support and Monitoring of High Impact New Initiatives of Vision 2025 Rs 1515 million, PPMI Centre of Excellence Rs 340.6 million, Up-gradation of Jawaid Azfar Computer Centre Rs 356.8 million, Research/Feasibility Studies and Workshops Rs 248.6 million, National Endowment Scholarships for Talent (NEST) Rs 10,000.0 million. Restructuring institutional strengthening and capacity building of energy wing and integrated transport infrastructure planning and management unit have also been closed down.

Regarding the National Endowment Scholarships for Talent (NEST), the source said that this project was closed down on the observation of the Prime Minister office and an audit para raised by the auditor. The project is likely to be transferred to the Higher Education Commission (HEC), said the source.

The project of Inspector General Development Projects, Balochistan (Phase-II) (Quetta) worth Rs 78.0 million, Feasibility Study on Cluster Development Based Mineral Transformation Plan – Vision 2025 (PC-II) Rs 62.1 million, establishment of Climate Change & Environment Section in Planning, Development & Reforms, Islamabad Rs 59.5 million, Establishment of Pakistan Urban Planning & Policy Centre Rs 287.0 million and Pakistan Productivity, Quality Innovative Initiative Rs 324 million have also been closed down.

Some officials of the Planning Commission are totally against the execution of projects by the ministry of planning saying that this execution is not the job of the planner, said the source. These officials want to close down or hand over, to the concerned ministries/departments, all the projects currently under the ministry of planning, development and reforms.

Majority projects under the ministry of planning are working without permanent project directors and even the important projects such as Vision 2025, Development communications and CPEC support projects.

Besides the vehicles acquired for these projects are being misused by the high ups in the ministry of planning, development and reforms. Even those officials of the ministry who are getting the monetization benefits are using the projects vehicles, said the source.

Besides there is also duplicating of some projects, for example for CPEC there are two projects working under the ministry of planning, development and reforms. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Support Project (revised) Rs 732 million and Center of Excellence for China Pakistan Economic Corridor 1215 million are dealing with the same theme. During the last year of the PML(N) government the then Deputy Chairman Planning Commission strictly banned the hiring of people for the posts doing the same jobs in both the projects, said the source.