ISLAMABAD - The Ministry Water Resources has demanded an allocation of about Rs203.7 billion, in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2018-19, for water sector projects.

In its proposal the ministry has submitted a total of 116 projects, according to official documents available with The Nation.

According the documents, the total estimated cost of these projects is Rs2.29 trillion. An amount of Rs465 billion had already been spent on the ongoing projects while an amount of Rs1.8 trillion will be required to complete these projects.

It merits a mention that in PSDP 2017-18 the allocation for water sector was only Rs36.7billion.

However, for the fiscal 2018-19, the Water Resource Ministry demanded Rs203.7 billion for the progress of 116 projects.  Similarly as per the projection of Water Resource Ministry for PSDP 2019-20 an amount of Rs201.4 billion would be required.

For the water sector development project it has been projected that the ministry of water resource will require Rs239.5 billion for the fiscal year 2020-21.

According the documents out of the total Rs203.7 billion allocation sought for next fiscal year it is expected that from an amount of Rs7.3 billion will come from overseas sources as foreign exchange component(FEC) while the remaining Rs196.4 billion would have to set aside from domestic resources.

The budgetary allocation of water sector is too little as it used to be Rs70 billion but was reduced to Rs31billion in 2016-17. However it was slightly increased to Rs36.7 billion during current fiscal.

Usually the ministries and division make high demand for allocation but due to scarcity of developmental funds they are not getting the demanded funds.

Even in the PSDP 2017-18 the water division demanded around Rs100 billion but it only received an allocation of Rs36.7, the source said.

The priority committee meeting is scheduled during the last week of March where the ministry of water resource would pursue and justify its recommended projects, the source informed.

However the source said that in the PSDP 2018-19 top priority would be given to the projects that were in advanced stages to ensure that no cost escalation should take place and the projects should meet the completion deadlines.

It has already been decided in principle that no new project would included in the next year PSDP.

However, the projects presented by the water resources have yet to face a lot of scrutiny, in the Annual Plan Coordination Committee (APCC) and National Economic Council (NEC), before becoming part of the PSDP.