ISLAMABAD      -   The federal government has so far released Rs15.4 billion for various ongoing and new social sector uplift projects under its Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2019-20, as against the total allocation of Rs701 billion. Under its development programme, the government has released an amount of Rs 10.2 billion for federal ministries, whereas Rs4.6 billion for special areas, according to a data released by Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform. Out of these allocations, the government released Rs4.4 billion for Higher Education Commission out of its total allocation of Rs29 billion. Under annual development agenda, the government also released Rs4.27 billion for Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission for which an amount of Rs24.4 billion was allocated under PSDP 2018-19.

Similarly, Rs750 million were released for Communication Division (other than NHA) as the government earmarked Rs9.8 billion in its  PSDP 2019-20. SUPARCO received Rs365.8 million out of its total allocation of Rs6.03 billion whereas Revenue Division received Rs198.15 million out of total allocation of Rs1.9 billion. The government also released Rs4.6 billion for Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) block and other projects out of its allocations of Rs27.26 billion.

The Planning Commission of Pakistan follows the specific mechanism for release of funds. During first quarter (July-September) it releases 20 percent, in second quarter (October-December) 20 percent, third quarter (January-March) 30 per cent and fourth quarter (April-June) 30 percent of development funds. Meanwhile the Planning Commission has clarified that a news item published in certain sections of media regarding authorization of PSDP funds during 2019-20 that the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform has processed all demands received for authorization till August 16, 2019 against PSDP allocation.

In a statement, the Planning Commission said “As per Release Strategy issued by the Finance Division on July 15, 2019, 20 percent of the PSDP allocation has to be authorised for PSDP funded projects”. Accordingly, Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform has to authorise Rs89 billion during the first quarter which is 20pc of Pak rupee earmarked in current PSDP.  Out of this demand of Rs56 billion was received from all federal entities. This Ministry has authorised Rs22.6 billion to different ministries/division which meet SOP/codal formalities for release authorisation. The remaining was not authorised mainly due to non-fulfillment of codal formalities. The amount would be released as soon as Ministries fulfill the formalities. It would not be out of place to highlight that during last financial year Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform authorised releases of 97pc of PSDP 2018-19.