ISLAMABAD, Jun 3 (APP): Around twenty percent increase in Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2016-17, compared to revised PSDP 2015-16 to the tune of Rs.1675 billion, was the highest-ever allocations in the history of the country on development sector.
“This increase in the development budget was the reflective of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s government commitment and ambition to focus on socio-economic development of the country”, according to statement of the Planning ,Development and Reforms issued here Friday.
According to the statement, the federal component of the PSDP size was Rs 800 billion , including foreign aid component of Rs 143 billion and provincial Annual Development Programmes (ADPs) amounting to Rs 875 billion with total foreign aid of Rs 86 billion.
The statement while highlighting the sector-wise allocations indicated that Rs.157 billion has been proposed for power sector, Rs.260 billion has been proposed for transport & communication sector, Rs.32 billion for water sector, Rs.18 billion for physical planning & housing, Rs.29 billion for education including higher education, Rs.30 billion for health & population, Rs.20 billion for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) programme and Rs.11 billion for other social sector projecs.
The PSDP has been instrumental in developing infrastructure, improving connectivity and social uplift in the country .
The programme responds to the emerging needs, creating an enabling environment required to attract private and foreign investments to achieve the growth targets.
Despite the financial constraints, government proposed the highest ever allocations in PSDP in the history of the country to keep the engine of growth and development working to take country into top twenty five economies of the world by 2025 under its roadmap Vision-2025, the statement said.
The next financial year’s PSDP has maintained balanced allocations for physical infrastructure and human resource development to uplift the economic and social sector simultaneously.
Planning Commission of Pakistan, tasked with finalizing the PSDP, gave equal attention to both physical infrastructure and human resource development while proposing the allocations for various sector as per the guidelines of Federal Minister Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal.
The statement further added significant feature of proposed allocations in next PSDP is major increase in social sector compared to last year to uplift as of government’s efforts to expand the higher education network for building a knowledge economy and provision of health facilities.
An allocation of Rs 89 billion is made for the social sector projects in health , population , higher education , education and training Important initiatives in this sector include Prime Minister’s youth and Hunarmand programme aiming at improving employability of the young human resource .
An amount of Rs 1 billion is earmarked for the Green Pakistan
The statement further added that Programme to mitigate impact of the climate change , while Rs 33 billion are allocated for the water sector projects. An amount has been earmarked for financing the ADPs of the special Areas, including AJ&K , Gilgit Baltistan and FATA and Rs 100 billion are proposed to facilitate reconstruction needs for rehabilitation of the TDPs of the FATA.
The Higher Education Commission has been allocated highest-ever Rs 21 billion for its 167 projects in the PSDP 2016-17 .
Separate funds for the laptop project and Afghan Scholarship scheme will be provided outside the PSDP .
Important initiatives in 2016-17 include scholarships schemes for training of faculty, infrastructure development of universities , implementing the 10,000 PhD scholarship scheme under the Pak-US working Group on education, Science and Technology , providing higher education campuses at the district level , setting up skill universities across the country, promoting industrial linkage with Universities, setting up National S and T Park ant NUST, Faculty Development Programme and setting up Women Universities at Islamabad.
The PML-N government had pledged to resolve the chronic energy crisis in the country before coming to power and demonstrated its commitment as it has been able to bring down the loadshedding hours to six to eight hours compared to 18-20 hours in 2013.
The development of indigenous energy resources, such as coal, hydro, alternative and renewable sources, was critical for sustainable economic growth, as envisaged in the Vision 2025.
As a result of government continued focus, the statement said, that the energy sector was one of the major recipients of Federal PSDP share.
It added that further, 74 per cent of the total China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects were energy projects, which include: coal, hydro and wind. With all efforts in hand around 5304 MW, power projects are expected to be completed by the year 2016-17.
The Planning Commission statement further said that in next PSDP, Rs.61 billion has been proposed for Neelum Hydro Power Projects, Rs.32 billion for Diamar Bhasha Dam, Rs.42 billion for Dasu Dam, Rs19 billion for New Coal Fired Power Plant, Rs.16 billion for Tarbella Fourth Extension Hydro Power Projects etc.
In infrastructure sector, Rs.4.5 billion for Lowari Tunnel, Rs.2 billion for Jaglot-Sakardu Road, Rs.3 billon for Construction of road network of New Islamabad International Airport, Rs.5 billion for dualization of Indus Highway, Rs.19 billion for Multan-Sukhar Section of Karachi-Peshawar Motorway, Rs.34 billion for Lahore-Abdul Hakeem Section of Peshawar-Karachi Motorway etc.
The statement further said that in CPEC component of PSDP 2016-17, Rs.22 billion for Burhan-Hakla (D.I.Khan Motorway, Rs.5 billion for Gwadar-Turbat-Hoshab section, Rs.4 billion for Hoshab-Nag-Basima-Surba section, Rs.1.1 billion of D.I.Khan-Mughalkot section of western route of CPEC. Rs.4.6 billion for Construction of Burhan-Havelian Expressway, Rs.16.5 billion for Thakot-Havelian etc.
In Gwadar component of PSDP, Rs.4.7 billion for East Expressway, Rs.1.500 billion for New Gwadar International Airport, Rs.1 billion for Necessary Facilities for fresh water treatment, water supply & distribution etc.
In some mega projects, Rs.1 billion for Greater Karachi Water Supply Scheme, Rs.700 million for Greater Karachi Sewerage Plant, Rs.400 million for Khyber Institute of Child Health & Children Hospital, Rs.650 million for Jalozi Campus of NWFP University of Engineering & Technology, Establishment of University of Swat, Establishment of University of Turbat, Establishment of University of Loralai, Establishment of FATA University, the statement said.
Next year PSDP proposed some new initiatives in education, health and other sectors.
These include Establishment of Center for Hematology Disorder at PIMS Islamabad, Provision of Equipments for four PAEC cancer hospitals at Bahawalpur, Karachi & Lahore, National Education Reforms Initiatives, Ph.d Scholarship Program under US-Pak Knowledge Corridor, Establishment of University of Central Asia and Pakistan, Establishment of Women Universities campus at Swat, Pishin & Khuzdar, Upgradation of bannu University, Provision of Academic Block at Khushkhal Khan Khattak University at Karak, Establishment of University of Balochistan campus at Zhob, Establishment of Technical & Medical College at Gilgit, Establishment of Federal University at Hyderabad, Center of Excellence on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor etc.