Senate body directs for timely release of funds under PSDP

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Islamabad

The Senate Standing Committee on Planning and Development directed the Ministry of Finance and Planning to ensure timely release of the allocated funds under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) to respective departments to avoid delays in projects.
Discussing the matter of delay in release of funds, Secretary Communications Jawwad Rafique Malik informed the meeting that the Ministry of Communications including National Highway Authority (NHA) had received no funds under the PSDP during last six months.
The meeting was held here under the chairmanship of Senator Agha Shahzaib Durrani. Secretary Planning Zafar Hassan clarified that the NHA received extra funds from foreign component, therefore the local component was adjusted in total allocation.
He said there were two components of the funding, one was foreign and the other was local one.
“According to the rules, PSDP size must not exceed the allocation size whether the money is adjusted from outside or from within the country,” he said adding that the NHA received 134% of its allocation during previous fiscal year.
“An amount of Rs251 billion was released for various development projects of NHA against the total allocation of Rs188 billion.”
He explained that extra amount came from the Chinese side specially for Multan-Sukkur and Havelian-Thahkot motorways, which was adjusted against the total allocation and funding from local component was stopped adding that Rs116 billion was allocated under local component for NHA projects however Rs76 billion were released during the year 2018-19.
Hassan said during the ongoing first quarter of current fiscal year, Rs19.2 billion were to be released in first quarter by September 30, and out of this amount, Rs13.5 billion was to be released for the approved projects while the rest was allocated for unapproved projects.
“Out of Rs13.5 billion for approved projects, the government has released Rs10.1 billion so far.”
The Secretary Communications said since the local allocation was made for number of small projects which had not been released due to the matter of adjustment, work on all these projects had been delayed and the contractors had refused to continue work on these projects for which no bills were generated for last six months.
He asked the committee to recommend early releases of funds for these projects to avoid any further delay in the projects.
The chairman directed the concerned officials to ensure timely release of funds to avoid any further delay in projects.—APP