ISLAMABAD -The Annual Plan Coordination Committee (APCC) on Monday approved Rs 1.31 trillion national development budget for the next financial year 2014-15, which is 13.42 percent higher than the original budget of the outgoing fiscal year 2013-14.

The APCC, which met under the chair of Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, has approved the developmental budget for the upcoming fiscal year.  The recommendations of the APCC would be presented in National Economic Council meeting for final approval, which would meet under the chair of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Thursday.

The APCC approved Rs 1310 billion development budget for next year including Rs 525 billion federal public sector development programme and Rs 650 billion for provincial development. Meanwhile WAPDA, PEPCO and NTDC would invest Rs 135 billion for their resources, which is also part of national development programme. The total national development budget was Rs1.155 trillion in the outgoing fiscal year, ending on June 30.

The APCC approved energy related projects worth of Rs 260 billion wherein Rs 155 billion would be allocated for power generation projects of the country. Meanwhile, the break-up of Rs 155 billion showed that government would release Rs 84 billion for hydel power generation, Rs 33 billion for thermal and Rs 38 billion for nuclear power generation for upcoming fiscal year.

Meanwhile, the APCC approved Rs 163 billion for transport and communication sector. The meeting approved Rs 114 billion for National Highway Authority (NHA) and Rs 40 billion for Pakistan Railways. As per government's commitment to construct Karachi-Lahore Motorway Rs. 45 billion have been provided for this purpose.

Federal government is initiating a special programme 'Pakistan MDGs and Community Development Programme' with the proposed allocation of Rs 12.5 billion. Major part of this programme will be spent to achieve Millennium Development Goals mainly in education and health sectors. Meanwhile Rs 51 billion have been proposed to be spent on health and education for the next fiscal year.

Meanwhile, government plans to provide Rs. 36 billion to provinces and special areas as 'Special Development Package' in addition to their ongoing projects. Out of this amount Rs 15 billion is allocated for Balochistan, Rs 8 billion for Sindh, Rs 4 billion each for FATA and KPK, Rs 3 billion for AJK and Rs. 2 billion for Gilgit Baltistan.

The APCC also approved Rs 25 billion for Bhasha Diamer Dam wherein Rs 15 billion would be spent on acquiring land and Rs 10 billion on construction on dam. Meanwhile, the government has allocated Rs 13.4 billion for Dasu hydroelectric-I in the developmental budget of next year.

Meanwhile, the APCC also approved macroeconomic framework 2014-15. The government has set the country's GDP target at 5.1 percent, inflation at eight percent, investment to GDP 15.7 percent and exports target at $27 billion for next fiscal year.

Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Professor Ahsan Iqbal while chairing the meeting said during current fiscal year GDP growth rate estimated to be 4.1pc which is an improvement on the average annual GDP growth during the period from 2007-8 to 2012-13. Industrial sector performed 5.8pc growth as compare to 1.4pc in 2012-13's revised estimation. CPI remained at 8.7pc during last 10 months of the government. Government only missed the target of GDP growth rate marginally because of the transition phase of the Government and the federal government's reduced role after devolution, particularly in agriculture sector where growth has been 2.1pc and target could not be achieved."

Federal Minister further said, "Fiscal Year 2013-14 was the year of macro stabilisation and government is successful in putting the economy of the country on track. Government, through Pakistan Vision 2025 and 11th five year plan, aims at increasing the growth rate 7-8pc and for the Fiscal Year 2014-15 GDP it has been targeted 5.1pc."

1024 projects costing Rs 5.6 trillion are being proposed for financing during 2014-15. Expected expenditure up to June, 2014 on these projects is Rs. 1.555 trillion. Balance amount (throw-forward) required to be financed by these project is Rs. 4.6 trillion.

About the government's plan to tackle energy crisis efficiently, Federal Minister said, "Government is making its best efforts to reduce the power shortage, which is a major hurdle in boosting economic activities. We are addressing the power constraints on short term as well as long term basis. Huge investment is being made in power sector from our own limited renounces and with the cooperation of friendly countries. Rs 260 billion has been allocated for power sector of PSDP.

Communication and transportation related projects are the part of our greater regional connectivity plan through which Pakistan will be made centre of four engines of growth in Asia, namely south East Asia, China, Central Asia and Gulf. Furthermore adequate allocation for Pak-China Economic Corridor projects will change the fate of the country by bringing the huge investment from Chinese partners."

While mentioning the government's priority to focus on social sector development, Federal Minister said, "We suffer from fractured socio-economic imbalance, our economic indicators make us middle income country but our social indicators put us among least developed countries. Cognizant of this fact Government is focusing the social development on priority. Federal government is initiating a special programme 'Pakistan MDGs and Community Development Programme' with the proposed allocation of Rs 12.5 billion. Major part of this programme will be spent to achieve Millennium Development Goals mainly in education and Health sectors. Rs 51 billion have been proposed to be spent on Health and Education. Moreover for the first time 'National Human Development Endowment Fund' is being established for the enhancement of available Human Resource in the country."