AS the government has started preparations to present next financial year’s budget, the Annual Plan Coordination Committee on Saturday finalised Rs 800 billion worth of Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) to achieve an economic growth rate of five percent.
The PSDP for next year is Rs100bn lesser than current year’s allocation of Rs900bn, while economic growth target of 5pc is also slightly lower than current year’s provisional output estimate of 5.97pc.
It is however a matter of satisfaction that development of underdeveloped areas and higher education has been given priority in the annual PSDP.
In view of the issue of water scarcity faced by the country, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal stated that work on dams would be expedited.
Development work that is undertaken through the PSDP is one of the important tools in government hand to support economic growth.
Being a developing country we definitely need to spend more on development projects to improve economy.
Definitely government prepares development programme keeping in view size of its national kitty.
Since it is the hard earned money of taxpayers, hence its judicious and prudent use is very important to achieve real targets.
It is most unfortunate that often disbursement of funds is delayed which cause delay in completion of projects leading to costs overruns.
We therefore will suggest the government to come up with a monitoring and oversight mechanism that ensures timely release of funds and ensures complete utilisation of PSDP.
The government should also avoid making cuts in development budget to limit fiscal deficit as it only leaves negative implications for the economy.
Rather if the cushion is available, development budget needs to be further enhanced, as it would create new opportunities for growth of private sector, encourage industrialisation, attract foreign investment, generate more jobs, reduce poverty and pave the way for sustainable economic growth.
The main focus should be on social sectors especially health and education to bring visible change in the life of people.