ISLAMABAD Despite tall claims of according top priority to the health sector, the PPP-led Government is likely to allocate Rs 19.3 billion for the Ministry of Health under the Public Sector Development Programmes (PSDP) for the fiscal year 2010-11, which is 17 percent less than the budgetary allocations of the ongoing financial year. According to sources, Health Ministry has put forward a demand of Rs 39 billion for the coming fiscal year but the Government is not in a mood to increase the allocations as compared to the present fiscal years allocations, which were Rs 23 billion. Later owing to financial crunch, the Government also slashed the allocations under the PSDP 2010-11 and brought it down to Rs 17.7 billion, whereas the Ministry has planned to come up with 30 new projects along with other ongoing projects. According to health experts, these allocations are equal to peanuts and instead of increasing the budgetary allocation for this important sector, the Government is allocating more or less the same amount, which is nothing as compared to the increasing demands of this sector. Due to financial crunch during July to December 2009, the Government could release only Rs 5.8 billion for the health sector, showing 33 percent releases of Rs 17.7 billion. Whereas utilisation of Rs 5.8 billion remained 90 percent, the sources further informed. The budgetary allocations for health sector speak volumes about the seriousness of the present Government of keeping social sector including health and education on the top of its priority list. In the ongoing fiscal year, the Ministry initiated only two new projects out of which one was construction of Trauma Centre at Tehsil Headquarter Hospital Toba Tek Singh with an estimated cost of Rs 25 million. The other was the up-gradation of Cancer Treatment Facility at Nishtar Hospital but the Ministry has not put forward an allocation demand for it. Out of the total 67 ongoing projects, only 13 are of national level health programmes and exact 80 percent of the whole budget was requested for these projects. The Government declared nine ongoing projects of Health Ministry as core projects including National Programme for Family Planning and Primary Health Care, worth Rs 26.533 billion, for which an amount of Rs 6.8 billion was allocated in the current fiscal year, Expanded Programme of Immunisation (EPI), Control of Diarrheic Disease (CDD) NIH Islamabad, Rs 11.470 billion, National TB Control Programme, Rs 1.184 billion, Prime Ministers Programme for Prevention and Control of Hepatitis, Rs 2.593 billion, National Programme for Prevention and Control of Blindness, Rs 2.774 billion, and National Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Programme, Rs 19.994 billion.