ISLAMABAD   -   The Senate Standing Committee on Planning Monday asked the government to provide the break-up of Rs 65 billion allocated for relief and rehabilitation of Temporary Displaced People (TDPs) and security enhancement.

The Senate Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Reforms that met with Senator Agha Shahzaib Durrani in chair also asked the details of total PSDP releases in the fiscal 2018-19.

The committee reviewed details of PSDP 2019-20 and it was informed that the total federal budget for development projects is a total of Rs 912 billion. The national budget entails Rs 1863 billion. Last year total budget comprised Rs675 billion out of which 95 percent was released. Priority sectors for this year include water, transport, energy, agriculture and knowledge economy.

While deliberating over programs managed by the Finance Division the Committee recommended that a break-up of PKR 65 billion allocated for relief and rehabilitation of IDPs and security be provided. It also demanded details of total PSDP releases in the current year. The allocation for the TDPs/security enhancement is the regular future of the PSDP since last five years and so far 100s of billion allocated in the PSDP. In 2017-18 the allocation was Rs 90 billion and in 2018-19 it was 65 billion. Interestingly in the proposed budget 2019-20 there is discrepancy between the PSDP book and Budget brief. In PSDP 2019-20 the total proposed allocations of TDP are Rs 32.5 billion and security enhancement Rs 32.5 billion. However on the page 44 of the budget brief the allocation for TDP is Rs 17 billion while Rs 53 billion are proposed for Security Enhancement.

The Committee was informed that development of dams was the government’s top priority as the priority of the nation depends on it. Knowledge Economy was another major sector that is being introduced to equip people with skills and training. PKR 30 billion have been allocated for new projects, which is the largest allocation for new projects, ever to be seen.

While recommending the establishment of clinical laboratories in Kuchlak area of Balochistan, the Committee was informed that this came under the ambit of the provincial government. The Committee recommended that skills related training is the need of the day and such an institute must be established in Quetta.

Majority recommendations entailed the communications network in Pakistan. Chairman National Highway Authority, Jawad Rafique Malik informed the Committee that 40 percent of new schemes have been announced for Balochistan. The Committee stressed the need to maintain existing roads as well.

Chaired by Senator Agha Shahzaib Durrani, the meeting was attended by Senator Gianchand, Senator Engr Rukhsana Zuberi, Senator Dr Asad Ashraf, Senator Krishna Kumari, Senator Usman Khan Kakar, Senator Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen, Senator Naseebullah Bazai and senior officers of the Ministry of Planning, Reforms and Development, Ministry of Science and Technology, the Finance Division, the National Highway Authority along with all concerned.