Govt Spent Rs18 Bn on Small Schemes
ISLAMABAD: The Government used around Rs18 billion to deliver small growth projects for the governing governing Party MNAs from a sum of Rs24 billion for the previous fiscal year ended on June 30, 2019 for Prime Minister's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)..
At a time when the historic budget deficit has reached 8.5% of GDP, and the use in the last fiscal year of development funds, the PM's discretionary SDGs program have used the maximum amount in the shortest period.
Although the controversial SDG program was begun in the second quarter (Jan-June) of last year of 2018-19, some 80 to 85 percent funds were used. In the last half (April-June) of the last economic year the SDGs program was practically implemented.
When approached, a senior official informed this reporter that the 20-citizen council recommended that the Deputy Commissioner (DC) and all DCs should submit their plans to the national Communication s and Work Department, C&W or respectively, to tiny growth projects relating, under education, health, safe drinking water, gas, electrical supply and other initiatives.
The PC-1 is ready for project scrutiny. The govt this moment provided a discretionary financing authorization for buying the machinery but prohibited any administrative costs such as no task or project initiation, from paying for such resources.
However, it has to be determined on the floor how much money has been used efficiently for these growth systems because in the past, political influence in the constituencies of the governing group was infamous for such programmes.
“Although the reconciled figures of utilization of funds have not yet been finalised, initial estimates suggested that PM’s SDGs programme spent out Rs17-18 billion out of total allocated amount of Rs24 billion,” top official sources confirmed to The News.
When contacted, top official sources indicated that the program of SDG expenditure could be reconciled by September 2019; however, they argued that the planning committee had sent a official communication to all the ministries / divisions interested in sharing the plan before granting funding for the current fiscal year.
“So far, we have not received any request from the Cabinet Division to release the funding for PM’s SDGs programme,” said the sources. The government has allocated Rs24 billion for this program during the current fiscal year.
It is remarkable that the SDGs program has managed to achieve maximum use over the short term when development expenditure has experienced low use in both the federal and provincial levels in the last fiscal year. In the past year, the complete utilization was projected at RS550 to Rs575 billion, even after amended lower PSDP allocations for Rs675 billion. This indicates that Rs100 is likely to be small in use for the previous financial year.
Although, the sources said PM Imran Khan was not much enthusiastic about this programme as once he had told the planning managers that if need arise, they should slash down funding of SDGs programme during the current fiscal year.
However, PM Imran Khan was not very passionate about this programme, as when he informed the scheduling directors that they should reduce financing of SDGs in the present fiscal year if necessary.
The state introduced Pak MDGs Community Development Program for 2014-15 and 2015-16, according to a Summary authorized by the Federal cabinet under PM Imran Khan's chairmanship in the last fiscal year. The program was then endorsed by the cabinet through specific measures, in particular, the SDGs for 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 achievement programme. A steering committee, headed by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs will supervise this programme.