On Monday, the National Economic Council (NEC) approved the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth projections for the financial year 2021-22 including the proposed growth target of 4.8%.
The sectoral growth targets approved for the next fiscal included 3.5% for agriculture, 6.5 % for the industrial sector, and 4.7 % for the services sector.
The National Economic Council, which met here with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair approved the Macroeconomic Framework for Annual Plan 2021-22. Chief Ministers of all the provinces and other members of the NEC participated in the meeting.
Ministry of Planning Development and Special Initiatives presented the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for 2021-22.
NEC was informed that the revised estimate for the total development outlay of the ongoing year was Rs. 1527 billion.
As against this the total development outlay for the next financial year would be over Rs. 2100 billion, including PSDP of Rs. 900 billion. This includes Rs. 244 billion for Transport & Communications, Rs. 118 billion for Energy, Rs. 91 billion for Water Resources, Rs. 113 billion for Social Sector, Rs. 100 billion for Regional Equalization, Rs. 31 billion for Science & Technology & IT Sector, Rs. 68 billion for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and Rs. 17 billion for Production Sector.
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The Council was informed that the focus of PSDP will be on Infrastructure improvement, Water Resources Development, Social Sector improvement, Regional Equalization, Skill Development, promotion of Science & Technology, and IT and Climate Change mitigation measures.
It has allocated 63% of the total PSDP or Rs565 billion for the infrastructure sector, according to the Ministry of Planning summary for the NEC.
The health sector got only Rs30 billion or 3.3% and the education sector Rs50 billion or 5.5% of the federal development budget.
The meeting was informed that the PSDP would cater to the government’s plans to increase focus on lagging areas and regions. For this purpose, sufficient allocations have been made for projects of South Balochistan, various districts of Sindh, as well as for Gilgit Baltistan.
Allocations have also been made for infrastructure projects of the southern districts of Punjab. Similarly, an allocation of Rs. 54 billion has been made for the newly merged districts of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa. In the Social Sectors, Higher Education Commission has been allocated Rs. 42 billion.
NEC was informed that with the operationalization of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Authority, several PPP projects were also being expeditiously processed for implementation.
These include Sukur-Hyderabad Motorway and Sialkot-Kharian Motorway, which were at an advanced stage.
While other major projects such as Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), KPT-PIPRI Freight Corridor, Kharian – Rawalpindi Motorway, Balkasar – Mianwali Road, Quetta – Karachi – Chaman Highway were also likely to be launched during the year.
The government has, for the first time made an allocation of Rs. 61 billion in PSDP for financing the viability gap of PPP projects to ensure that PPP projects can be successfully implemented.
Addressing the meeting the Prime Minister emphasized increasing the pace of implementation of development projects to ensure that the gains made through stabilization of the economy could be translated into economic growth resulting in the well-being of the people of Pakistan.
According to the Prime Minister’s Office, the NEC meeting also agreed upon the Macroeconomic Framework for Annual Plan 2021-22 envisaging a growth target of 4.8pc, with sectoral growth targets of 3.5pc for agriculture, 6.5pc for the industrial sector, and 4.7pc for the services sector.
Courtesy: APP with addition from GVS