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Govt to cut development funds by 25%

Govt to cut development funds by 25%

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to cut development programme to around Rs775 billion from Rs1,030 billion set by the previous government in its budget for the financial year 2018-19.

The move would allow the government to save around 25 percent or Rs250-Rs255 billion, a senior official said.

During the first two months of current FY19, the Planning Commission has disbursed Rs35 billion for development projects, around 75 percent lower than Rs175 billion in the corresponding period of 2017.

A chunk of this saving would be utilized to raise allocation to the water sector on a priority basis and the remainder would be kept for deficit financing, the official shared.

In the budget presented for FY19 by the previous government, Rs80 billion have been allocated for the water sector, which was deemed insufficient considering the challenges surfacing in the sector.

According to the senior official, many of the non-development projects included in the Public Sector Development Programme 2018-19 by the previous government would face an axe.

Besides, the newly installed PTI government is expected to add its own priority projects in the PSDP 2018-19.

Also, the official stated the Planning Commission had concluded the process of sectoral presentations and rundowns to Minister for Planning and Development Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar on Friday.

The official shared dedicated teams were presently working on crystallizing the revisions in the PSDP during the weekend.

Moreover, the official shared the Planning Commission will be holding a meeting with the finance minister in a few days’ time to ensure a detailed position could be put forth before the prime minister next week to aid in the decision making and redefining development goals.

Providing an example of non-development projects, the official stated the previous PML-N government had allotted Rs10 billion under a youth initiative to extend laptops to the young, whilst another Rs5 billion was allocated for gas schemes.

Similarly, various schemes added to the PSDP were made on basis of announcements made by previous prime ministers during their respective visits to different cities and districts on a political basis.

Henceforth, these kinds of aforementioned projects would be removed from the PSDP.