The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet approved an Rs 43 billion grant for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to cover its cash shortfall and allowed the signing of about $1 billion worth of debt relief from G20 countries.
The meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee of Cabinet headed by Shaukat Tarin, the Minister for Finance and revenue held on Thursday, approved of Rs 43 billion grant for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after the province busted its budget limit.
According to the sources, ECC also gave approval of Rs 42.9 billion for the Finance Division for ways and means advances availed by the provincial governments. The sources said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had availed ways and means advances beyond limits and had to be covered through the technical supplementary grant.
The Annual Development Plan was also curtailed to Rs 244 billion next year to cover the financial gap even its present year’s development plan of Rs 274 billion was also more than the next year. KP is the only province the Annual Development Plan of which was curtailed. The Annual Development Plan of the remaining three provinces is more than the current year plans.
In the current year, the ADP of Punjab was Rs 310 billion which will be Rs 500 for the next year. The present year’s ADP of Sindh is Rs 194 billion which will be Rs 321 billion for next year and Balochistan’s the ADP of the current year is Rs 89 billion which will Rs 133 billion for next year.
ECC agreed in principle for a $1.1 billion requirement for procurement of vaccination
After the meeting of ECC, an official statement says, “The ECC expressed the government’s commitment to providing $1.1 bn for procurement of Covid-19 vaccine for achieving the vaccination target (minimum 45 million and Maximum 65 million) till December 2021.”
The sources, however, say that this amount was not approved from the government budget and it was decided to explore other possible means for the foreign exchange through international lenders or grants.
In the meeting, it was realized that vaccine arrangement in the coming financial year may be done on monthly basis as the availability of $1 billion foreign exchange could not be made from the SBP’s reserves in one go.