LAHORE          -             The Pakistan Industrial and Traders Association Front has asked the government to make full utilisation of development budget both at the federal as well as provincial levels to encourage the dwindling economic growth, as the authorities have utilized just 27% of the total allocation of PSDP in first seven months of current fiscal year.

PIAF chairman Mian Nauman Kabir, in a joint statement along with senior vice chairman Nasir Hameed and vice chairman Javed Iqbal, asked for maximum efforts to fully utilize the allocations made for the Public Sector Development Programme, saying that unless all the PSDPs were executed timely, the wheels of the economy could not be turned.

Mian Nauman Kabir said the actual PSDP expenditure in first seven months has always remained between 25-30% of the budget allocation for a long time and full year utilisation ended up between 80-95% at the end of the fiscal year.

Based on that ratio, we expect 100% utilization this fiscal year of Rs701 billion allocation as 7-month actual expenditure stood at 27%.

According to the data, a total of Rs188 billion had been actually spent on the development projects this by the end of January against Rs429 billion authorized for disbursement by the Planning Commission. Around Rs87 billion were utilized by the executing agencies by Nov last year and almost Rs100 billion were disbursed in Jan 2020.

About 1,034 projects were part of the ongoing PSDP and only 171 of them might be completed by end-June 2020 this year which is not good for growth.

PIAF chairman said the project development, monitoring and evaluation system had weakened over the years and should be revamped. He said the Public-Private Partnership Authority (PPPA) had been a rudderless ship without relevant staff, rules and regulations and a full time chief executive and should be fully operationalized so that the government can execute a number of projects through the PPP mode.

PIAF senior vice chairman Nasir Hameed also stressed upon the need for ensuring optimal and timely utilization of funds allocated by the federal government under Public Sector Development Programme and said that planning commission’s role is vital in this regard.

He said that an amount of Rs 701 billion had been allocated under the PSDP during the Fiscal Year 2019-20 for development projects. He called for utmost efforts to eliminate delays in authorization by the Planning Commission for ensuring seamless implementation of the approved projects.

PIAF vice chairman Javed Iqbal while expressing concern over the under-utilization of funds by various Ministries and divisions asked the Planning Commission to come up with a monthly performance review report so as to determine the reasons behind the under-utilization of the funds allocated for the vital PSDPs.