May 23, 2019 at 5:46 pm
Chitral Times Report
ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Annual Plan Coordination Committee (APCC) was held today under the chairmanship of Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar in which provincial finance ministers, federal secretaries, high level officials from provincial and area governments participated. Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Planning, Development and Reform highlighted the performance of the economy amidst backlog of serious macroeconomic imbalances. He reaffirmed the commitment of the government for balanced and equitable development. He apprised the participants about the challenging adjustment process which is constraining expanding development portfolio. However the government is optimizing economic returns by investing in projects with high socio-economic return. Giving broader outlines of next financial year’s PSDP, Makhdum Khusro said that this will be the incumbent government’s first development portfolio under serious budgetary constraints. Even then new important areas including climate change, clean green Pakistan, knowledge economy, human resource development, agriculture growth, regional equalization development programme will be given priority besides harnessing full socio-economic potential of the CPEC, stated the Minister. He said growth strategy of the government is to create more opportunities for the poor and vulnerable and support regional equalization. The Minister highlighted that previous government mismanaged the PSDP (2018-19) in the last year of its term by adding 393 projects with a throw-forward of Rs. 2 trillion which was 33% of the total throw-forward against a meagre allocation of Rs. 55 billion. During the meeting, the Ministry of Planning gave an overview of the performance of the economy in current fiscal year (2018-19) and macro-economic targets for the next fiscal year (2019-20). The participants were informed that the government is making concerted efforts to stabilize the economy to correct structural imbalances and enhance long-term growth potential. The size of the national development outlay is proposed at Rs. 1.837 trillion with provincial contribution of Rs. 912 billion. Ministry of Planning also apprised the stakeholders about the underlying priorities of the development framework and presented federal public sector development programme (PSDP) for 2019-20 with an allocation of Rs.675 billion. Recognizing the critical role of the private sector, Public-Private Partnership, BoT and other modes would be utilized. Initially innovative financing of infrastructure projects with an allocation of Rs.250 billion are presented to enhance the role of the private sector through relevant government departments. Infrastructure continued to be the largest sector but social sector is also given importance according to the government priorities. Special importance will be given to the backward and remote areas especially Balochistan, South Punjab, Rural Sindh and Southern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Projects under CPEC have been provided sufficient resources required for their completion as per schedule. After giving a broad overview of the development framework, detailed discussion was held with individual Ministries. The audience were told that provincial priorities are already reflected in the PSDP through extensive consultative process with the Provincial and regional governments. The meeting decided to formulate a coordination committee under Secretary Planning with representation from all provinces. The proposed committee will make monthly review of ongoing projects, releases and operational difficulties whereas quarterly review will be conducted by the Minister. Secretary Planning thanked the distinguished guests and apprised that extensive consultations were held with all relevant stakeholders in preparation of next year’s PSDP.