ISLAMABAD -  The government would allocate Rs 600 billion for the federal Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the next fiscal year 2015-16, which will be 14 percent higher than the allocated amount of outgoing year.

The government has decided to keep Rs 600 billion for the PSDP for upcoming financial year as against Rs 525 billion of the current fiscal year showing an increase of 14 percent. Sources aware of the budget development informed The Nation that local component of the PSDP would be around Rs 260-265 billion and foreign exchange component of Rs 235-240 billion. The development budget would be finalised in the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, likely to be held by the end of current month of May 2015. Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal also confirmed to the media on Thursday that volume of the PSDP for next year would be around Rs 600 billion. He further said that Rs 250 billion under PSDP would be kept for the energy and Pak-China Economic Corridor related projects. The Ministry of Water and Power has asked for Rs 74 billion for setting up LNG based power plants in two cities of Punjab, he added. Earlier, Ministry of Finance was contemplating to keep Rs 570 billion for the PSDP for upcoming year.

The government is releasing development funds at much slower pace during ongoing year, as it released only Rs 382 billion for PSDP during (July and May 8) of the ongoing year, which is 72 percent of the overall developmental budget of Rs 525 billion.  Ahsan Iqbal told the media that government would release Rs 500 billion for the PSDP by the end of June 2015, as various ministries did not complete their homework prior to get funds for their development projects.  The break-up of Rs 382 billion showed that government had released Rs 198.68 billion for 37 federal ministries, Rs 124.5 billion for the two corporations like National Highway Authority and WAPDA (power), Rs 39.8 billion for the Special areas like AJK, Gilgit Baltistan and FATA/Safron during July and May 8 period of the outgoing year.