Daily The Business

Rs100 billion ADP cut in upcoming budget proposed

  • Punjab govt’s financial crunch and poor receipts

By Javed Iqbal

LAHORE: The Punjab government has proposed to slash approximately Rs 100 billion in its upcoming annual development programme (ADP) for the financial year 2019-20, The Business has learnt.
The decision has been taken in the wake of the financial crunch.
Earlier, the PTI government had proposed Rs400 billion as ADP. The total proposed ADP for 2019-20 also included Rs.183 billion for ongoing schemes while Rs.95 billion for new projects, Rs.75 billion for special initiatives and Rs.47 billion for other development programmes (ODP).
This was discussed at a high-level meeting held at the Planning and Development (P&D) Department Thursday. The chairman P&D presided over the meeting while representatives from different departments including Communication and Works, Punjab Irrigation Department, Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, Higher Education Department and
others attended the meeting. The meeting was held on the annual development programme, revenue collection, the PSDP meeting and the review of departmental ADPs.
The chair also directed to promote Public-Private Partnership Programme (PPP) while dispensing different development schemes. The departments would focus on more PPP-oriented schemes to reduce the burden on the provincial kitty. The total size of the provincial budget for the financial year 2018-19 was Rs. 2026 billion while the Planning and Development Department had earlier proposed annual development programme of Rs.238 billion which was less than the previous years.
The meeting participants also discussed in detail the revenue shortfall being faced by the province so severely.
Moreover, the public sector departments have also been directed to return the loans they got and are unutilised so far to the Finance Department so that they could be utilised again in the new ADP.
The minister for Higher Education Department Raja Yasir Humayun Sarfraz said that the departments should finalise the ADPs after they attend the upcoming Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) meeting in Islamabad. The Planning Commission of Pakistan will host provinces for discussion on development sector.
The departments are eyeing on the federal share they would get after the 18th amendment.
He was of the view that it would be very hard for the education sector to reduce funds as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government has promised to bring revolution in the education sector.
It is to be recalled that there is a huge amount of foreign aid of Rs 38 billion.
The meeting also discussed the Planning and Development Department’s allocation of budget release to other departments that was Rs.200 billion. However, the Finance Department released Rs.177 billion that also included Rs.38 billion as foreign support. A participant pointed out that after completion of the due process, the departments received only Rs.141 billion and utilised Rs.124 billion which was 88 percent of the total releases.
A senior officer of the Finance Department confirmed on the condition of anonymity that the government was facing a severe shortage of taxes. Talking about reasons, he said that the apex court had issued status-quo in the mobile cards earlier.
Moreover, the apex court banned the mutations in the urban area of the province that too jerked the revenue collection and all the registries in the urban areas left in limbo.
The PTI Finance Minister had claimed that former PML-N government had spent Rs. 2100 billion on development in the province. Rs. 1000 billion was spent on 10 percent area of the province while the rest of the amount was spent on 90 percent of Punjab. Lahore was the main focus for development. Similarly, a huge ADP of Rs. 635 billion was announced for 2017-18 but the actual utilisation was only Rs. 411 billion as one-third of the ADP was on papers only, he said.

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