Rs3.792 Trillion PSDP with Major Increase in Education Budget

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ISL AMABAD: The government on 12 June 2024 announced a Rs3.792 trillion national Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for fiscal year 2024-25, which represents a staggering 58 per cent increase from the Rs2.39tr to be spent under the head by the close of FY24.

Of the total, Rs2.095tr has been allocated to provincial PSDP, compared to Rs1.56tr in the outgoing year. Of the remaining, Rs1.4tr will be spent on the federal PSDP, with another Rs100 billion on public-private partnerships, and Rs196.8bn will be spent by state-owned enterprises on various development projects.

The federal PSDP of Rs1.5tr is much larger than the Rs1.221tr approved by the Annual Plan Coordination Committee (APCC), led by Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Jehanzeb Khan, a few days ago. Provincial demands also seem to have been entertained, resulting in the higher PSDP allocation.

According to the budget document, the allocation for the Water Resources Division will be Rs259bn under PSDP 2024-25, against Rs110bn in the current year.

The Cabinet Division will get less next year Rs75bn against Rs90bn in the outgoing year.

The Defence Division will get Rs5.6bn next year under the PSDP, against Rs3.2bn in the current year. Similarly, Rs3.7bn have been allocated for the Defence Production Division, as compared to the current year`s funding of Rs1.6bn.

The government has given special attention to the Federal Education & Professional Training Division, and the division`s allocation next year has been boosted to Rs25.7bn against just Rs8.5bn this year. Meanwhile, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) will get Rs66.3bn against Rs59.7bn this year.

The merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) will get Rs70bn, as compared to current year`s funding of Rs57bn. Similarly, special areas (AJ&K and Gilgit-Baltistan) will receive Rs74.5bn against Rs60bn in the current year.

Its seems that human rights will remain a matter of least concern for the present regime, with the Human Rights Division allocated only Rs104 million under PSDP 24-25 against Rs814mn in the current year.

The Finance Division`s total allocation has also been increased by almost 100pc for next year to Rs6bn, while the allocation for the Information & Broadcasting Division has been boosted more than threefold from Rs2bn to Rs6.5bn. Despite a recent surge in terrorism, however, budgeted funding for the Interior Division has slightly declined in next year`s PSDP to Rs9.07bn against its current share of Rs10bn.

A major increase has been made in funding for the Information Technology & Telecommunication Division. The Division will get Rs29bn against Rs6bn in the current year.

Pakistan, which recently sent a satellite in space with China`s help, has also significantly enhanced next year`s funding for the Space & Upper Atmosphere Research Commission to Rs35.6bn, as compared to the current year`s allocation of only Rs7bn. Science & Technology, however, seems to be low in the government`s priority list, as its allocation for next year is Rs7bn compared to Rs8bn in the present year.

The National Food & Security Division will get Rs41bn compared to the current year`s budget of Rs8.8bn, while the National Health Services & Research Division will get Rs27bn against Rs14bn in the current year.

The Planning Development & Special Initiatives Division will receive Rs60bn, compared to a much lower Rs24bn this year.

Ironically, the Poverty Alleviation & Special Safety Division will get nothing in PSDP 2024-25.The government has allocated another Rs45bn for the Railways Division for next year, compared to Rs33bn for the current year.

Acknowledgement: Published in Dawn News on 13th June 2024.
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