ISLAMABAD: The budget 2021-22 envisages allocation of Rs900 billion for the federal Public Sector Development Program (PSDP), which is thirty eight percent higher than the previous year.


The PSDP focuses on improving transport and communication facilities with special emphasis on inter-provincial and regional connectivity, investment on building large dams and water conservation systems, augmenting and strengthening health sector infrastructure, improving access to higher education, social protection, increasing employment and livelihood opportunities.


It also aims at reducing regional disparities, mitigating effects of climate change, building knowledge economy, enhancing agricultural productivity and ensuring food security and supporting Public Private Partnership initiatives.


According to the annual plan, an amount of 469 billion rupees, which is fifty two percent of total PSDP, has been allocated for projects aiming at modernizing infrastructure for accelerating growth. An amount of 228,767 million rupees has been earmarked for energy sector projects for the next fiscal year.


By June next year, an additional 5981 megawatts of electricity is expected to be plugged into the system, including 1536 megawatts from renewable sources. To boost industrial development, electricity and gas supply schemes for Special Economic Zones (SEZs) under CPEC are expected to be completed by June next year.


There is a plan to add another ten million acre feet in the water storage capacity during the next year. To overcome water scarcity and enhance storage capacity, two major storage dams Diamer-Basha and Mohmand along with five hundred and eighteen medium and small dams having cumulative storage capacity of 8.33 million acre feet have been initiated throughout the country.


An amount of 90.313 billion rupees has been allocated for water sector projects, excluding hydel projects during the next fiscal year. To attain one percent additional afforestation during the next fiscal year, the government has allocated 14,000 million funds to ensure efficient implementation of Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Program-Phase 1.


An amount of 302 billion rupees, which is seventy four percent higher than the PSDP 2020-21, has been earmarked for the development program of the transport and logistics. The concessional financing agreement for landmark ML-1 project of Pakistan Railways is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of next financial year and subsequently arrangements will be made for its groundbreaking.


The Ministry of National Health Services has proposed forty two new schemes for financing out of the next year’s PSDP. Some important initiatives include improving emergency and response services for COVID-19 and other transmittable diseases.


An amount of 5.52 billion rupees has been earmarked for projects in education sector including one billion rupees earmarked for Azad Kashmir. An amount of 37.3 billion rupees for development projects of higher education sector projects and 8341 million rupees for the development projects of the Ministry of Science and Technology.


For Physical Planning and Housing Sector programs, forty nine billion rupees have been allocated. Funds to the tune of 1899.86 million rupees have been allocated in the PSDP for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and 125.93 million rupees for the National Heritage and Culture Division.


To promote balanced regional development, an amount of 160 billion rupees, which is eighteen percent of the PSDP, has been kept aside for projects aiming at fostering harmony in the federation. The government has planned to invest one hundred billion rupees during the next fiscal year in Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan and for the merged districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.


The CPEC planned activities during the next fiscal year include continuing work on four Special Economic Zones whilst work will commence on the remaining twenty-three of the twenty seven projects identified for poverty alleviation, health, education, vocational training, agriculture and water supply.