The Ministry of Planning in Pakistan has released Rs129 billion for development projects under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the fourth quarter of the year 2022-23, despite financial constraints and disruptions caused by floods last year. A news release on Sunday noted that the Water Resource Division and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) have been given top priority in the PSDP.
The government was forced to shrink the PSDP from Rs700 billion to Rs550 billion in the last quarter of 2021-22, as there was no release for the PSDP during that time. According to the latest data provided by the ministry of planning, an amount of Rs129 billion has been released for development projects under the PSDP for the fourth quarter (2022-2023), including Rs27 billion for Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK), Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).
The Power Division has been allocated Rs30 billion to expedite projects like the Diamer-Bhasha Dam, the Mohmand Dam, the Kachhi Canal, the Nai Gaj Dam; Rs22 billion has been allocated for the Ministry of Communications to expedite projects like Khuzdar-Kuchlak Road, dualisation and improvement of Old Bannu Road, and Rs8 billion has been set aside for HEC projects. Similarly, an amount of Rs4 billion has been allocated for the Ministry of Housing and Works, Rs8 billion for the Ministry of Railway, and Rs5 billion for the Power Division.
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Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal has taken several initiatives for the country’s development, particularly the development of Balochistan, which faced devastation in the recent floods. The minister said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government, during its last tenure from 2013 to 2018, uplifted the national economy by executing several mega development projects and introducing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).