GDP growth target for FY23 set at 5pc, PSDP outlay at Rs800bn

Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal Saturday said the size of the federal development budget under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) has been set at Rs800 billion for the upcoming fiscal year 2022-23.

Briefing the media after chairing a meeting of the Annual Plan Coordination Committee (APCC), he said the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth target for the upcoming fiscal year has been fixed at 5 per cent.

Ahsan Iqbal said that growth numbers in the current fiscal year were nothing to do with the targets because the target was set as per the old base year, however, the re-basing jacked up the growth to 6 per cent.

“Out of the total outlay, Rs100 billion would be utilized through private-public partnership (PPP),” he said, adding that the meeting reviewed recommendations for the development budget 2022-23 presented by various stakeholders concerned.

“Under the feedback of those recommendations, we will present proposals for the federal PSDP 2022-23 with a total outlay of Rs800 billion to the National Economic Council (NEC) on June 7, 2022.

“This year, preparing the PSDP was a very challenging task because for the first time in 75 years no releases were made in the last quarter of the fiscal year 2021-22 due to unavailability of funds in the national kitty.”

He said when the PML-N left the government in 2017-18, the federal PSDP size was Rs1,000 billion.

“We were expecting that keeping in view the country’s increasing requirements, the PSDP would have increased up to Rs2 trillion,” he said, adding that the next year’s development budget strategy had been kept prudent to make the budget as per the country’s needs.

“This year, the government is going to allocate 90 per cent of funds for ongoing schemes while new schemes would get only 10 per cent of the total size.”

Under the vision of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, he said, the government was allocating funds to protect the projects of basic needs such as water, infrastructure, health and education. He said funds for the Diamer-Bhasha dam and other key water reservoir projects were also being protected. Similarly, he said, the allocation for higher education projects was not only protected but the allocation was being increased.

Likewise, he said in the infrastructure sector, roads, railways, and port and shipping projects were also being protected. Ahsan Iqbal added that the government was also protecting allocations for the projects of information technology and science and technology sectors. He went on to say that the government was going to resume laptop schemes for university students along with a loan scheme to purchase laptops.

The minister added that under the federal PSDP 2022-23, the government was providing a big share of the total volume to Balochistan and would complete ongoing schemes in the province as soon as possible.

In the upcoming budget, a project to construct 250 mini-sports stadiums had also been included and these stadiums would be constructed in collaboration with the provinces, he maintained.

“To fast-track China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), we have increased allocation for the projects under the CPEC, especially in Gwadar. For merged areas of FATA, the government had proposed an allocation of Rs 50 billion.”