PC recommends development budget outlay of Rs 795b

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The Planning Commission has recommended a consolidated development budget outlay of Rs 795 billion, with a federal share of Rs 365 billion and provincial share of Rs 430 billion, for the consideration of the Annual Plan Coordination Committee (APCC), scheduled to meet on May 13.
An official source said during the priorities’ committee meetings, the federal ministries demanded an allocation of Rs 486 billion for next year’s development spending, while the Ministry of Finance had set the ceiling at Rs 280 billion. It recommended that unapproved projects, unless critical, might not be approved for the next fiscal year.
However, the Planning Commission mentioned the contention of ministries, saying fewer allocations would hamper progress on various important projects like Diamer Bhasha Dam, for which an allocation of Rs 18 billion was required for land acquisition alone, while the Ministry of Water and Power estimated Rs 51 billion were required for the staring the construction work on the project.
It had also sought Rs 13 billion for completing the Mangla Dam raising project. The Planning Commission said less allocation would slow down the progress on Chashma 3 and 4 nuclear power projects and affect SUPARCO’s satellite programme.
About the resolution of the energy crisis, the source said the government had recently issued Sukuk bonds worth Rs 45 billion and the payment of Rs 120 billion to the power sector would help ease the crisis.

Fiscal deficit rises to 4.5% of GDP in first 9 months of current fiscal
ISLAMABAD – The consolidated fiscal deficit of the federal and provincial governments has increased to Rs 783 billion, or 4.5 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), during the July-March period of the current fiscal year. According to the Fiscal Operations data for the July-March period released by the Ministry of Finance on Tuesday, the total revenue amounted to Rs 1.495 trillion in the first nine months of the year, while expenditures amounted to Rs 2.278 trillion, resulting in a budget deficit of Rs 783.2 billion.
The budget deficit target was projected at 4.7 percent of the GDP, however, the cost incurred on security-related activities and power sector subsidies forced the resetting of the deficit target at 5.3 percent of the GDP in consultation with the IMF. Staff Report