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Energy, roads to consume much of Rs1.15tr PSDP
06-13-2013, 01:19 PM
Post: #1
Energy, roads to consume much of Rs1.15tr PSDP
ISLAMABAD, June 12: The government on Wednesday announced the highest-ever development budget of Rs1.15 trillion for 2013-14 with major emphasis on the energy sector and a road network programme to implement its manifesto focusing on overcoming unprecedented electricity loadshedding and laying network of inter-provincial highways.

Of a total outlay of Rs1.15tr for the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), the federal share is Rs540 billion and Rs615bn has been allocated for provincial uplift schemes.

The first development budget of the PML-N government is 32 per cent higher than the Rs873bn PDSP announced by the PPP-led coalition government last year.

The federal PSDP includes a foreign exchange component of Rs109bn.

The record development budget includes Rs115bn block allocations for the new government’s manifesto based on unapproved new initiatives under which projects like metro bus services for Karachi and Islamabad and new motorways would be commissioned.

In the PSDP, the highest priority has been given to energy sector with a total allocation of Rs225bn, including federal financing of Rs107bn while another Rs118bn is to be arranged by the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) from its own kitty.

“No doubt that development budget requires a further increase, but despite limited resources a sizable increase has been made this year,” said Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in his budget speech.

He was of the view that the highest ever investment in the PSDP would bring more and more job opportunities.

Earlier, the Planning Commission had recommended Rs1.135tr for the next year’s development plan, but Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif raised his province’s development budget by Rs20bn to be met from province’s own resources. As a result, the total PSDP has gone up to Rs1.15tr.

WATER AND POWER: Of the Rs107bn allocation for the water and power sector, about Rs59bn had been earmarked for hydropower projects and Rs52bn for water, power and nuclear energy projects.

A sum of Rs25bn has been allocated for the Diamer-Bhasha dam, including Rs17bn for land acquisition and Rs8.2bn for construction works.

“We know the sufferings of the people due to loadshedding and that is why the PML-N leadership is working day and night to rid the nation of this problem. We have earmarked major chunk of PDSP (Rs225bn) for it,” he said.

Some electricity related projects mentioned by the finance minister were the 969mw Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project (Rs25bn); Tarbela dam’s fourth extension project (Rs14bn); and three nuclear power projects (Rs52bn) — Rs42bn for two 1100mw Chashma nuclear projects and Rs10bn for nuclear power project in Karachi.

The minister also mentioned 1410mw Thar Coal Project, 122mw Kheyal Khawar Project, 122mw Allai Khawar Project, 747mw upgradation of Guddu Power Project, conversion of 3120mw gas-based Muzaffarghar and Jamshoro plants into coal, upgradation and improvement of transmission lines, construction of grid stations and improvement of power distribution system.

TRANSPORT SECTOR: The transport sector has been allocated Rs105bn, including Rs63bn for the National Highway Authority (NHA) and Rs31bn for Pakistan Railways to purchase locomotives and uplift and maintain tracks. This would be primarily utilised for improving infrastructure and connecting Gwadar Port with other parts of the country in an integrated initiative.

“We believe network of roads and highways is a way to progress because it provides access to farmers to grain market and to consumers to get daily use items,” said Mr Dar.

He said the government was making arrangements to link the Gwadar Port to Turbat, Baseema, Ratto Dero section and M-8 so that maximum benefit of the port could be availed.The minister mentioned in his speech that two new motorways — M-9 (Karachi-Hyderabad) and M-4 (Faisalabad-Khanewal-Multan) — would be constructed.

Talking about the dilapidated Railway department, he said: “We have determined to bring the Pakistan Railways on track through its restructuring.

The minister revealed that the Pakistan Railways for which Rs31bn have been earmarked in the PSDP would be converted into a corporation through legislation by the parliament.

Under the block allocation to meet the PML-N manifesto of “new initiatives” the government has decided to launch Lahore Metro Bus like service in Karachi and Islamabad.

HEALTH SECTOR: This sector would get a sum of Rs25bn. A sum of Rs18.4bn has been allocated for the Higher Education Commission.

GILGIT-BALTISTAN, FATA, KASHMIR: About Rs43bn has been allocated for development schemes in Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Kashmir and Fata (Federally Administered Tribal Areas).

DEFENCE AND DEFENCE PRODUCTION: A significant increase has been made in the allocations for defence division and defence production — Rs5.84bn against Rs1.38bn of previous year.

DECREASE IN FUND ALLOCATION: There are some ministries and heads whose development funds have been reduced in the PSDP. They are Housing and Works which will get Rs3.77bn against Rs7.33bn of previous year, Inter-Provincial Coordination Rs437 million against Rs3bn, Petroleum and National Resources Rs50m against Rs387m, Planning and Development Division Rs10bn against Rs21bn and special programmes Rs5bn against Rs42bn.
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