ISLAMABAD - The government is releasing funds for the developmental projects at much slower pace apparently to offset the substantial increase in revenue collection shortfall in order to keep the budget deficit within target as committed with International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The government has released only 26 per cent of the overall Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) in more than five months (July-December so far) of the ongoing financial year, as it released Rs 140.07 billion in period under review out of total Rs525 billion earmarked for the whole year 2014-2015.

The incumbent government is struggling to achieve the annual tax collection target of Rs 2.8 trillion during current fiscal year, as revenue collection shortfall surged to Rs 60 billion in five months (July-November). Therefore, the government is trying to create a cushion by releasing developmental funds at much slower pace to keep budget deficit at 4.9 percent of the GDP.

According to the official documents, the government has not released a single penny for agencies concerned for achieving the Millennium Development Goals of meeting basic human requirements like food, health and education. Similarly, the government has failed to release funds for special federal development programme and projects meant for provinces and special areas. The federal government in last budget kept Rs 12.5 billion for achieving MDGs and Rs 36 billion for special federal development programme.

The overall spending on PSDP is Rs 140.07 billion, which also included Rs 35.35 billion of the foreign exchange component during first five months of FY2015. The size of federal PSDP is Rs 525 billion for the ongoing financial fiscal year 2014-15. The break-up of Rs 525 billion revealed that Rs 422.78 billion would come from government’s resources and Rs 102.22 billion from foreign aid.

According to the documents, the government has released Rs 92.078 billion out of total Rs 140.07 billion for the development projects of the 37 federal ministries, Rs 30.09 billion for two corporations, Rs 15.65 billion for special areas and Rs 1.36 billion for the ERRA during July-December so far of the FY2015.

The break-up of Rs 92.078 billion released for the federal ministries showed that government has disbursed Rs 1.26 billion for Cabinet Division, Rs 341 million for the Capital Administration and Development Division, Rs 97.45 million for the Defence Division, Rs 187.47 million for the Defence Production Division, Rs 347.6 million for the Education, Training and Standards in Higher Education Division and Rs 1.84 billion for the Finance Division. Similarly, the government has released Rs 7.7 billion for Higher Education Commission, Rs 20.35 billion for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Division, Rs 23.74 billion for the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, Rs 15.2 billion for the Railways Division and Rs 14.8 billion for the Water and Power Division (Water Sector) during July-December so far period of FY2015.

Meanwhile, the government has released Rs 20.87 billion for National Highway Authority (NHA) and Rs 10.12 billion for WAPDA during July-December so far period of FY2015. The government had allocated Rs 111.56 billion for the NHA under PSDP and Rs 63.61 billion for WAPDA for the current fiscal year 2014-2015.