ISLAMABAD - A parliamentary panel was Thursday informed that only 70 percent funds, earmarked under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the year 2015-16, were utilised so far.

“Out of the total Rs 580 billion budget allocated for various ministries, divisions and corporations, as much as Rs405 billion have been released so far, 70 percent of the total allocated money,” additional secretary planning ministry told the Senate Standing Committee on Planning.  The meeting, which was chaired by Senator Syed Tahir Hussain Mushhadi, was attended by senators -  Mufit Abdul Sattar, Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar, Saeedul Hassan Mandokhail, Saud Majeed, Muhammad Mohsin Khan Leghari - and Saleem Mandviwala as special invitee. Saleem Mandviwala said that in Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir only five percent of PSDP was utilised while in FATA only six percent of PSDP was utilised. In South Punjab only 33.5 percent of the PSDP was utilised.

Additional Secretary Planning, in his detailed presentation, said he was hopeful that 100 percent PSDP funds would be disbursed in current year.

Additional secretary planning informed that out of the total Rs 405 billion released amount, Rs 323 is local and Rs 82 billion is foreign aid component.

Similarly, out of the total Rs120 billion earmarked for Special Programme for Temporarily Displaced Persons (TDPs) and Prime Minister's Youth Programme, Rs.78 billion have been released so far, 65 percent of the total allocation, he added.

On China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Project, he informed the committee that China has agreed to invest in four Special Economic Zones (SEZs) along the project, one each in all the provinces. He said that a list of various economic zones has already been sent to China for their consideration to establish such zones in accordance with their feasibilities. Meanwhile, Chairman National Highway Authority (NHA), Shahid Ashraf Tarar, in his presentation, informed the committee that work on various road communication projects across the country was in progress. He informed the committee that Burhan to Havalian road would be completed by June 2017, while groundbreaking of Havalian to Thakot 102km road, which is also part of CPEC, has already been done.

He said that the investment of $46 billion on CPEC was being utilized on early harvesting projects and the actual investment on the project over the years would reach trillions of rupees.

He also informed the committee that Leeyari Express way would be completed by the end of December this year and would be opened for traffic, while the Peshawar Motorway is also expected to be completed on fast tract basis.