The Ministry of Finance has raised objections over diversion of Rs. 24 billion from the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and other initiatives towards a discretionary programme for parliamentarians’ schemes as per a report by The News.
The government had diverted these funds for discretionary spending for parliamentarians’ schemes.
After objections by the Finance Ministry, the Ministry of Planning certified that the revised allocated amount of Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), as well as sectoral allocation for the current financial year, would be fully protected, stated the report.
“Yes we have certified in writing that the revised allocation of PSDP and sectoral allocation would be fully protected during the current fiscal year,” stated a top official source.
Furthermore, he added that “We guarantee you that the allocation of Rs181 billion for CPEC published into the pink book of Finance Ministry with a marginal increase of Rs. 200 million will be fully protected,”
However, the sources did not share any details of how much of these were utilized for CPEC projects during the current fiscal year so far.
An official of Planning Commission claimed that they diverted Rs. 24 billion out of Rs. 27 billion for the head of special initiatives of CPEC and others.
There was only Rs. 3 billion earmarked for CPEC special initiatives which were protected, but so far the funds have not yet been released. They said that they created fiscal space of Rs. 24 billion by abandoning un-approved projects and scrapped almost 300 schemes.
“Although, the government has formally approved Rs. 24 billion for sustainable development goals (SDGs) achievement programme due to the pressures of the parliamentarians, but there is not much enthusiasm at top levels after witnessing criticism in the media,” said the sources.