Hashim chairs PSDP review meeting

LAHORE: Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht chaired a review meeting on the progress of Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) here at Planning and Development (P&D) Complex on Monday. The meeting was attended by Chairman Planning and Development Abdullah Khan Sanbal, Secretary Finance Iftikhar Ali Saho, Secretary P&D Mujahid Sher Dal, Secretary Irrigation and Secretary Communications and Works and other officers of Planning and Development Board. The minister apprised the meeting that a review committee was constituted under his chairmanship to review the progress of the programmes under PSDP to ensure timely completion of schemes after the approval of Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar. The committee would regularly review the progress of the PSDP programmes with monitoring of procurement to speed up the work, preparation of mechanisms for quality check, opening of schemes under the program and third-party verification procedures.

He observed that the PSDP is the revolutionary policy of the present government to achieve sustainable economic development and other economic goals. In the current financial year, the Public Sector Development Program has been increased from Rs 650 billion to Rs 800 billion, which has reached a total of Rs 900 billion. The allocation of the PSDP for Punjab in 2021-22 is Rs 97 billion or 10.8 percent, out of this, Rs 35.5 billion has been allocated for road sector and Rs 3.5 billion for water sector while Rs 58 billion has been earmarked for other sectors. The Secretary Communications and Secretary Irrigation briefed the meeting on the progress of road projects included in the Public Sector Development Programme.

The Secretary Communications and Works further informed the meeting that the ongoing road sector schemes in the Public Sector Development Program include a 37.06 km road from Bahawalpur to Yazman and Chandni Chowk and a 31-km road from GT Road Sama to Gujarat Dinga Road and Gujarat fly over road. The work on both the schemes is in full swing. The Provincial Minister directed the Secretary Finance and Secretary Planning and Development to expedite the work on other projects included in the annual development program and ensure that the no delay would be made in disbursement of funds for the completion of the projects in the given timeline. The Finance Secretary informed the meeting that Rs 221 billion were by the finance department in the first quarter of the financial year for the projects included in the Annual Development Program 2021-22. The funds released in the first quarter of the current financial year are double the funds released in this regard last year. The development funds released in the first quarter of last year were Rs 135 billion. He further said that the Finance Department was moving ahead with continuous consultation with the Planning and Development Board for timely disbursement of funds to the newly approved schemes. Further, 100 percent funds amounting Rs 144 billion for ongoing schemes have been released on the first day of the financial year, July 2021.