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Ministry of Planning proposes 34 projects worth Rs32.4bn for next PSDP.

ISLAMABAD -- The Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms has proposed at least 34 ongoing and new projects worth Rs 32.4 billion to be incorporated in the next Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) 2018-19. Out of the estimated cost of Rs 32.4 billion, the ministry has allocated Rs 13.09 billion for the projects in the fiscal year 2018-19.

Briefing the National Assembly Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Reforms on Wednesday, officials of the ministry informed the committee about 5 to 6 new projects and 25 to 26 ongoing projects which would part of the next PSDP.

The committee examining the PSDP proposals for the financial year 2018-19 in detail approved all the projects except the two projects including the establishment of Centre of Excellence for CPEC, PIDE, Islamabad and Research Study on Cluster Development Based Industrial Transformation Plan Vision 2025.

The major projects being included in the next PSDP are Centre For Rural Economy (Rs 1.118 billion), National Endowment Scholarships for Talent (Rs 10 billion), natural initiatives for SDGs (Rs 1 billion), reforms and innovation in government for high performance (Rs 1.16 billion), support and monitoring of high impact new initiatives of Vision 2025 (Rs 1.51 billion), Pakistan Institute of Development Economics Islamabad - land acquisition and site development (Rs 4.5 billion), Pakistan Institute of Development Economics Islamabad- construction of new campus (Rs 3 billion), Startup Pakistan Venture (Rs 2 billion), CPEC institute Gwadar (Rs 1 billion) etc.

During the meeting Committee Chairman Abdul Majeed Khan Khanankhail asked the ministry to keep close monitoring on the development projects especially those relating to health and education sector to ensure transparency and timely completion of the projects.

He said that talent of students from backward districts was wasted due to lack of resources, therefore, it was government's duty to provide maximum facilitation to those students and increase the number of scholarships in this regard.

He further said in all Gwadar projects, locals of the area should be given top priority in the provision of jobs and other benefits for uplift of their lifestyle while rest of Balochistan should be given second priority as the whole area was underdeveloped and people were living in very dilapidated conditions.

He also assured the ministry for extending full support by the NA panel in approval of such social welfare projects.

Earlier briefing the committee about the status of development projects under PSDP, Ministry of Planning adviser said that at present, 29 different Pakistani government's funded projects worth $ 500 million were under implementation in Afghanistan.

He said the ministry was closely monitoring the development of projects and for this purpose, it had allocated Rs 125 million under PSDP 2017-18 for monitoring of PSDP financed projects.

Later the Committee unanimously confirmed the minutes of its 61st and 62nd meeting held on January 3rd and 4th, 2018.

The Committee took serious notice of the absence of the Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO) Chief Executive Officer and recommended that the FESCO CEO appear before the Committee in the next meeting to explain his position regarding absence from the meeting.

Malik Ibrar Ahmad, Shaheen Shafiq, Shamas-un-Nisa, Junaid Akbar, Qaiser Jamal, Sher Akber Khan, Syed Mohammad Athar Hussain Shah Gillani and Sheikh Salahuddin along with senior officers from the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform attended the meeting.
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Publication:Pakistan Today (Lahore, Pakistan)
Date:Feb 7, 2018
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