Cut in development funds!

THE proposal to reduce developmental expenditure for the current financial year by over Rs. 250 billion to make room for greater allocations for other sectors is fraught with negative implications both for the Government and the general public. If the measure is finally approved, the Government would be saving about 25% but at the cost of backtracking on its promises to create more jobs and make life of the people easier.
It is understood that the Government is facing financial crunch but regrettably the developmental allocations have been the prime target by the successive governments. One wonders why the developmental allocations are increased in the budget if the authorities have no intention to release them for the stated objectives. It seems developmental allocations have become a hollow slogan and a means to play to the galleries while presenting the budget. In the absence of worthwhile industrialization and both local and foreign investment, the public sector spending remains the only major source for stimulating the economy and creating job opportunities in different parts of the country through development schemes and programmes. PTI Government has committed to creating millions of jobs but scaling down of development expenditure runs contrary to this avowed commitment and goal. It will be all the more unfortunate if releases for ongoing projects are stopped or cut as this would badly affect such schemes. Delay in their implementation would lead to cost escalation besides denial of benefit to the targeted population. Already, the Planning Commission has released 75% less funds in the first two months as against the same period last year, which amounts to slow killing of development projects. The authorities concerned should consider all pros and cons before a final decision on slashing the developmental allocations is made.

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