Ahsan Iqbal says lack of capacity of some ministries and divisions caused delay in projects’ execution
Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal has admitted that negligence, poor project management and lack of capacity of some ministries and divisions for making poor estimates of the development projects caused delay in their execution.
“Planning Commission has rationalized the amount of PSDP projects to the total cost of Rs490 billion during the last financial year which is almost equivalent to the total allocation of PSDP amount for a year”, Iqbal said while chairing a review meeting on PSDP in Planning Commission on Friday.
According to press statement issued here on Friday said that “some ministries and Divisions feel irritated on close scrutiny of the development projects, but this cannot distract Planning Commission from its responsibility to safeguard the public money and ensure its effective utilization in development projects. Business as usual is unacceptable in the execution of public sector development programs due to presence of professional team of members in the Planning Commission”, he added.
He said, “It is the commitment of Prime Minister to overcome energy crisis by 2018 and development projects reflect priority to energy sector, infrastructure and knowledge initiatives”.
The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) considered 322 development projects in 15 meetings during April 1 2014 to March 31 held in the Planning Commission. CDWP approved 155 projects which were within the authorized limit of forum (up to Rs3 billion) and recommended 66 projects to the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) for approval. ECNEC approved 61 projects in the 8 meetings during the same reporting period.
It is pertinent to note that CDWP approved 75 more projects during 2014-15 than last year with 48% progress. During the current reporting period (April 1 to March 31 2016), 8 CDWP meetings have been conducted so far approving 46 projects while ECNEC has conducted 4 meetings and approved 30 development projects.
Three projects on energy have been recommended to the ECNEC in the last CDWP meeting held on 1st October this year. The first was 20 MW Hydropower Project Hanzel Gilgit, which will cost Rs6.248 billion. Rs1 billion has already been allocated in the PSDP 2015-16. Another project is 220 kVs transmission system network reinforcement in Islamabad and Burhan costing Rs3.5 billion with Rs250 million allocation this year. The third project of the energy sector recommended to the ECNEC was 1410 MW Tarbela 5th Extension Hydropower Project costing Rs80 billion.
Cost rationalization process has not only discouraged waste in the public sector but it has also secured greater value for the public money. “Public funds, earmarked for development, ought to be spent transparently to create highest value as we are answerable to the people of Pakistan”, he said.
“Vision 2025 is the roadmap to growth and development in Pakistan and Planning Commission is following its development manifesto in letter and spirit. In the last two years, the HEC budget has been increased from Rs48 billion to Rs78 billion and 38 projects of universities have been approved showing commitment of the government to higher education and youth” he said.