Rs900bn federal PSDP to focus on improving transport infrastructure, building large dams

Finance and interiors divisions to get Rs123bn and 210bn, respectively

ISLAMABAD: The government on Friday unveiled the budget for fiscal year 2020-2021 and has allocated Rs900 billion for federal Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP 2021-22), 38 per cent higher than the Rs650 billion allocated in the outgoing fiscal year.

The total outlay of the PSDP for the next fiscal year is Rs2.1 trillion out of which Rs1.235 trillion has been earmarked for provincial PSDP, whereas the remaining Rs900 billion has been reserved for the federal PSDP. 

According to the budget documents, the Rs900 billion includes Rs100 billion of foreign aid.

The document states that the PSDP allocation focuses on improving transport and communication facilities with special emphasis on inter-provincial and regional connectivity, investment on building large dams and water conservation systems, augmenting and strengthening health sector infrastructure. It also focuses on improving access to higher education, social protection, increasing employment and livelihood opportunities.  

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According to the annual plan, an amount of Rs469 billion rupees, which is 52 per cent of total PSDP, has been allocated for projects aiming at modernising infrastructure for accelerating growth. An amount of Rs228.7 billion has been earmarked for energy sector projects for the next fiscal year. 

By June next year, an additional 5,981 megawatts of electricity is expected to be plugged into the system, including 1,536 megawatts from renewable sources. To boost industrial development, electricity and gas supply schemes for Special Economic Zones under CPEC are expected to be completed by June next year.

“There is a plan to add another ten million acre feet in the water storage capacity during the next year. To overcome water scarcity and enhance storage capacity, two major storage dams Diamer-Basha and Mohmand along with five hundred and eighteen medium and small dams having cumulative storage capacity of 8.33 million acre feet have been initiated throughout the country,” the document states. 

“An amount of Rs90.313 billion rupees has been allocated for water sector projects, excluding hydel projects during the next fiscal year,” it adds.

In order to attain one per cent additional afforestation during the next fiscal year, the government has allocated Rs14 billion funds to ensure efficient implementation of Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Program-Phase 1.

An amount of Rs302 billion, which is seventy four percent higher than the PSDP 2020-21, has been earmarked for the development programme of transport and logistics. The concessional financing agreement for landmark ML-1 project of Pakistan Railways is expected to be finalised in the first quarter of next financial year and subsequently, arrangements will be made for its groundbreaking.

The Ministry of National Health Services has proposed 42 new schemes for financing out of the next year’s PSDP. Some important initiatives include improving emergency and response services for COVID-19 and other transmittable diseases.

An amount of Rs5.52 billion has been earmarked for projects in the education sector including Rs1 billion earmarked for Azad Kashmir. An amount of Rs37.3 billion has been allocated for development projects in the higher education sector and Rs8.34 billion for the development projects of the Ministry of Science and Technology.

For Physical Planning and Housing Sector programmes, Rs49 billion have been allocated.

In order to promote balanced regional development, an amount of Rs160 billion, which is 18 per cent of the PSDP, has been kept aside for projects aiming at fostering harmony in the federation.

Allocations for government divisions 

Out of the Rs900 billion, Rs3.55 billion have been allocated for the Aviation Division while the Board of Investment (BoI) will get Rs80 million in the next fiscal year. Another Rs46 billion has been earmarked for Cabinet Division, whereas the Climate Change Division will get Rs14.32 billion. 

The budget documents state that Rs1.61 billion had been set aside for the Commerce Division while Rs451.32 million were allocated for the Communication Division, other than the National Highway Authority (NHA).

According to the budget documents, Rs1.97 billion has been earmarked for Defence Division, Rs 1.74 billion for Defence Production Division and Rs800 million has been allocated for the Establishment Division. On  the other hand, the federal Education and Professional Training Division will get Rs9.7 billion and Rs123 billion has been allocated for the Finance Division.

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has been allocated Rs42.4 billion, while Rs24.21 billion has been earmarked for the Housing and Works Division. At least Rs279 million will be provided to the Human Rights Division and Rs2.91 billion has been set aside for the Industries and Production Division.

In the federal PSDP, Rs1.89 billion have been allocated for the Information and Broadcasting Division and Rs9.361 billion will be provided to the Information Technology and Telecom Division. 

For the Inter-Provincial Coordination Division, Rs3.73 billion have been set aside whereas the Interior Division would get the allocation of Rs210.48 billion. Meanwhile, Rs69.9 billion have been earmarked for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Division.

At least Rs6 billion has been earmarked for the Law and Justice Division and Rs4.4 billion has been allocated for the Maritime Affairs Division. 

The National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination Division has received Rs21.72 billion whereas Rs27 billion has been earmarked for the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission. 

Likewise, the Petroleum Division received Rs2.34 billion.

In the new budget, Rs19.24 billion have been allocated for the Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Division and Rs589.9 million has been allocated for the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division. Similarly, Rs 30 billion million has been set aside for the Railways Division.

Over Rs493 million has been allocated for the Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Division whereas Rs4 billion has been earmarked for the Revenue Division and Rs8.34 billion has been earmarked for the Science and Technology Research Division. 

Rs7.36 billion has been allocated for SUPARCO and Rs103.47 billion has been allocated for the Water Resources Division. Separately, Rs113.75 million has been set aside for the National Highway Authority.

 

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Ghulam Abbas
The writer is a member of the staff at the Islamabad Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]

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