Islamabad  - Senators from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan have demanded that resources under the National Finance Commission award should be distributed on the basis of development instead of the population ratio.

Currently, the NFC award is being distributed on the basis of the population ratio which needs to be based on the ratio of development where less-developed areas should get more share, said Senator Usman Kakar and Shibli Faraz at a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Reforms.

More share of the resources should be awarded to less-developed areas, they said. Secretary Planning Shoaib Siddiqui said that record funds had been allocated for water supply schemes and dams in Balochistan.

The Senate Committee on Planning, Development and Reforms, which met here with Senator Shahzeb Durrani in chair, discussed the functioning and performance of various subordinate departments of the Ministry of Planning and the allocation of funds in the Public Sector Development Programme 2018-19 for various uplift schemes.

The meeting was also attended by Senator Gianchand and Dilawar Khan and other senior officials of the Ministry of Planning.

The chairman of the committee pointed out that according to the IMF Pakistan spends double time and resources for completion of projects. The secretary planning said that due to ill-planning and interference, the projects were facing delay. He told the committee that one reason for the delay was ill-planning, besides interference from various institutions. The chairman of the committee said that introduction of the culture of punishment for causing delays will not only save time but also billions of rupees.

The committee took serious notice of the delay in execution of projects and directed to provide details of all the delayed projects, reasons for the delay along with list of officials responsible for the delay at the next meeting.

Senator Faraz said that planning was the most important ministry but the information it was providing was not credible.

“Who determines the national priority and procedure and how the data is being prepared?” the senator questioned. The official of the planning ministry said that short-term, mid-term and long-term planning was being done by the ministry on the basis of workshops, seminars and the recommendations of experts and ministries. The secretary planning said that projects were being prepared in consultation with provinces and ministries.

The committee was informed that the budget for water sector was increased from Rs36 billion in current PSDP to Rs80 billion for the next fiscal. The committee was further told that power projects of 10,000 megawatts were in the pipeline which will be completed by December 2019.

The committee asked the Ministry of Planning to submit the report of the special committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor along with other documents relating to the multi-billion dollar project.