Govt Might Not Include New Projects in Next Budget

Planning Commission might hardly include new projects in next budget in its development projects due to lesser resources available for new initiatives.

The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) of the Planning Commission saw a huge resource constraint for the development budget following a rigid approach to National Development Framework.

Chairing the CDWP here the other day, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Dr Mohammad Jahanzeb Khan said that due to fiscal constraints and a huge throw forward, the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) is being reviewed and rationalization is in process, and projects of provincial nature are being shifted to respective provincial governments. He said that new projects will be included in the PSDP subject to the availability of funds and requested the provincial members to create space in Annual Development Programmes (ADPs).

The forum cleared four development projects worth Rs 71 billion during its meeting. The CDWP considered six projects under the chairmanship of Dr Jahanzeb.

The forum cleared World Bank’s funded Punjab Resilient & Inclusive Agriculture Transformation (PRIAT) project at the total cost of Rs. 58.8 billion and recommended to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council. The project will be implemented throughout Punjab for a tenure of five years. Phase II of the project comprises four major components that include Community-driven Improvement of Water Conveyance & Application, Promotion of Climate Smart High-Value Production, Regenerative Agriculture, Crop Diversification, Agriculture Value Addition & Inclusive Access to Market, Monitoring, Learning, and Contingent Emergency Response Components.

The forum approved the establishment of NIHD at the total cost of Rs. 7.86 billion. The center will be a state-of-the-art preventive research and development center for Cardio Vascular Disease (CVD). It will introduce advanced modalities of community-based preventive research and the corresponding development of services/ products aimed at reducing the disease burden in society and therefore cost-effective treatment of CVDs. The project will set forth a paradigm shift from therapeutics to prevention, thus reduction in the disease burden of CVDs in society, within the overall domain of Non-Communicable Diseases.

The forum also approved the up-gradation of the Nuclear Institute of Medicine & Radiotherapy (NIMRA), Jamshoro at a total cost of Rs 1.2 billion. NIMRA is the first oncology and third nuclear medicine institute of Pakistan, established in 1965 aimed to provide cancer-related health care facilities to the residents of Jamshoro and its surrounding areas. NIMRA is providing diagnostic services and treatment facilities to a population of approximately 18.5 million from more than 14 districts for more than 55 years, especially from interior Sindh.

The forum also cleared the construction of Torawari Dam in district Hangu, KP at the original cost of Rs. 3.4 billion. The Torawari Dam is a small dam designed to conserve storm run-off of Saroobi Algada for irrigation supplies to 7000 acres of land. Currently, agriculture is practiced on a limited area of 750 acres irrigated but with the construction of the dam irrigation will be done on a larger area of 7000 acres.