Over $1bn released by Pakistani govt for development in six months

December 30, 2012 - 1:36:45 am

KARACHI: The government of Pakistan has released Rs101.40bn ($1.045bn), or 43.5 percent, in the first six months of the current fiscal year to various ministries and divisions for development projects under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) against the full-year target of Rs233bn, according to official data released yesterday.

The official figures released by the Planning Commission revealed that of total Rs101.40bn released, Rs55.70bn has been released for infrastructure projects, Rs42.60bn for social sector projects and Rs1.1bn for projects in other sectors under the PSDP 2012-13 as on December 28.

The PSDP envisages 345 infrastructure development projects, 688 social sector development projects and 68 projects in other sectors, it said.

In a recent report, the Planning Commission has identified inadequate funding in the current fiscal year and several shortcomings in the identification and preparation, appraisal, approval, execution and completion phases of the Public Sector Development Programme-funded projects.

Though the PSDP projects contributed to the national economy, these were not enough in the backdrop of the rapidly growing population and consequent increased demand for infrastructure facilities, according to a Planning Commission document.

Proper feasibility studies were not undertaken in some projects, resulting in ill-conceived, weak project preparation; ownership issues between provinces and districts generated sustainability issue during operational phase and unrealistic financial phasing resulted in delayed, insufficient funding and delayed project execution.

Besides, the lack of holistic approach in planning initiated projects with overlapping objectives, it said.

In certain projects, envisaged results were not achieved due to weak scrutiny and inaccurate economic analysis.

The commission has also highlighted delay in the contract award, hiring of consultants, problems in land acquisition, inadequate funding, management capability and inefficiency of executing agencies for inefficient project handling, resulting in delays.

In addition, due to delayed transfer of projects to the recurring budget, the cost overruns, the report added.