During the last six weeks of its rule, the outgoing government of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif spent 99 percent of the total development expenditure of the public sector on schemes of parliamentarians by stopping spending on other important projects.
On July 1, the federal government spent Rs10.5 trillion under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP). Out of this, Rs10.4 trillion or 99 percent was spent on schemes proposed by MPs.
In total, the Ministry of Planning had approved an expenditure of Rs129 billion, including Rs61.3 billion for schemes of parliamentarians. But of the Rs129 billion permits, the actual expenditure was Rs10.5 trillion.
After allocating development in the budget, the Planning Ministry issues permission orders based on the quarterly limits set by the Finance Ministry. But the money is not spent automatically until it passes through the finance ministry’s cheque.
In the financial year, the National Assembly had approved Rs950 billion for the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), including Rs90 billion for schemes of parliamentarians. Many important projects were affected in the first quarter of this financial year. For example, Pakistan Railways’ development budget for the current financial year is Rs33 billion.
The Ministry of Planning approved Rs1.5 billion for expenditure, but the actual expenditure for railway projects was zero. At least 30 people were killed and over 80 others injured when 10 bogies of the Havelian-bound Hazara Express derailed in Sindh’s Nawabshah district on Sunday, police said.
The National Highway Authority (NHA) was authorized to spend Rs37.4 billion last month but the actual expenditure was zero. The NHA’s annual budget is Rs156.5 billion, the outgoing government had allocated Rs80 billion in the budget for various initiatives of the prime minister. But during the last 40 days of the government, there was no expenditure; even important ministries could not get money for expenditure, even though the Planning Ministry had issued permission orders.
Against the annual budget of Rs59.7 billion of the Higher Education Commission, the Ministry of Planning approved Rs5 billion, but the expenditure remained Rs31.3 million.