A meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) was held under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad, attended by the Chief Ministers of all the provinces and other members of the NEC.
The NEC approved both the Macroeconomic Framework for the Annual Plan 2021-22 and the GDP growth projections for the financial year 2021-22. The proposed growth target of 4.8 percent was approved with sectoral growth targets of 3.5 percent for Agriculture, 6.5 percent for the Industrial Sector, and 4.7 percent for the Services Sector.
The Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives presented the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for 2021-22.
The NEC was informed that the revised estimate for the total development outlay of the ongoing year is Rs. 1,527 billion, as against this, the total development outlay for the next financial year will be over Rs. 2,100 billion, including the PSDP of Rs. 900 billion. This includes Rs. 244 billion for Transport & Communications, Rs. 118 billion for Energy, Rs. 91 billion for Water Resources, Rs. 113 billion for the Social Sector, Rs. 100 billion for Regional Equalization, Rs. 31 billion for Science & Technology & the IT Sector, Rs. 68 billion for the SDGs, and Rs. 17 billion for the Production Sector.
The council was informed that the focus of the PSDP will be on the improvement of Infrastructure, Water Resources Development, the improvement of the Social Sector, Regional Equalization, Skill Development, the promotion of Science & Technology and IT, and Climate Change mitigation measures.
The attendees were informed that the PSDP would cater to the government’s plans to increase focus on the lagging areas and regions. For this purpose, sufficient allocations have been made for projects for South Balochistan, various districts of Sindh, and for Gilgit-Baltistan. Allocations have also been made for infrastructure projects for the southern districts of the Punjab. Similarly, an allocation of Rs. 54 billion has been made for the newly merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In the Social Sectors, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has been allocated Rs. 42 billion.
The NEC was informed that with the operationalization of the PPP Authority, a number of PPP projects are also being expeditiously processed for implementation. These include the Sukur-Hyderabad Motorway and the Sialkot-Kharian Motorway, which are at advanced stages. Other major projects such as the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), the KPT-PIPRI Freight Corridor, the Kharian–Rawalpindi Motorway, the Balkasar–Mianwali Road, and the Quetta– Karachi–Chaman Highway are also likely to be launched during the year.
Furthermore, for the first time ever, the Government has allocated Rs. 61 billion in the PSDP to finance the viability gap of the PPP projects to ensure their successful implementation.
Addressing the attendees of the meeting, the Prime Minister emphasized increasing the pace of the implementation of the development projects so that the gains made through the stabilization of the economy may be translated into economic growth that will result in the well-being of the people of Pakistan.