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Monday, March 15, 2010

PSDP slashed by Rs 121 billion to Rs300 billion: PM

ISLAMABAD, Mar 15 : The Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) has been slashed and fixed at Rs 300 billion for the current financial year due to serious financial constraints in the wake of out of budget expenditure on military operations against militants and relief and rehabilitation of IDPs.
The decision was made at a meeting of Planning Commission chaired by Prime Minster Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani here on Monday.
Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr. Ishfaq Hussain, Minister for Health Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Minister of Railway Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour and Minister of State for Finance Hinna Rabbani Khar briefed the Prime Minister about their developments projects in the country.
Talking to mediamen after the meeting of the Planning Commission for review of PSDP, he said earlier the PSDP was slashed to Rs. 250 billion from the original allocation of Rs. 421 billion due to war on terror and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). He said now the PSDP will be Rs. 300 billion despite resource constraints and social sector allocations will be protected.
Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said the size of PSDP was increased from two hundred nineteen billion rupees in 2008-09 to four hundred and twenty one billion rupees in 2009-2010 to address the issues of energy, water shortage and to spend more on health, education and poverty reduction. He said the special feature of the PSDP was packages for cities and areas neglected in the past and increased public investment in Balochistan.
He said a revision of the PSDP is not an easy decision for a political government as it restricts the government efforts to address the needs of the people. He said a slow down of the development activities will also adversely affects the pace of economic recovery and impact negatively on our efforts to alleviate poverty. H said the resources constraints have forced government to review the size and prioritize the projects in consultation with the major stakeholders ensuring development packages for social sector is protected.
The Prime Minister said that government attaches priority to social sector, Atomic Energy Commission development of neglected areas and directed for the immediate release of funds to the provinces and their rights will be protected fully.
It was also decided that Prime Minister will quarterly review the PSDP and Policy Board of the Planning Commission will be announced soon.
Ministers for Railway, Health, Agriculture and Water and Power briefed the Prime Minster about their departments.
The Prime Minister appreciated the payment to the affected people of Diamir-Bhasha Dam. He said that the single railway track would be made double and seventy five new locomotives will be purchased soon besides the repair of obsolete ones.
Regarding NWFP Development he said that government is planning to build Khushal Khattack Bridge, a Bus Terminal at Peshawar, construct Chashma Right Canal and Malakand Tunnel on priority basis.
He said two hundred and twenty three development projects including small dams, construction of international airport in Gwadar are in progress in Balochsitan. He said the commitment made with the people of Balochistan will be materialized.
Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani said that PSDP has become the main instrument for translating the national goal of socio economic development into reality. “It is the main instrument reflecting the government's agenda which it committed to the people”.
He said the elected government inherited an economy which was faced with multiple challenges as well as poor law and order situation which requires extra expenditures on war on terrorism and IDPs.
The Prime Minister expressed the confidence that the economy is getting back on track due to the prudent policies of the government and the economic indicators are improving. However any achievement and high growth could not be realized unless its fruits reach at grass root level improving living condition of the people.
To a question about the austerity measures of the government, he said a number of organizations will be restructured to improve their financial performance.
He said the main agenda of the next cabinet meeting will be the law and order situation in the aftermath of terrorist incidents in Lahore, Karachi and Mingora.

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