The denial of basic human rights and economic deprivation has exacerbated structured poverty and inequality in rural and semi-urban areas of Pakistan. The self-reliant economic development models for men and women still a distant dream despite an increase in country’s gross domestic product (GDP) over 5.28pc.
Like every year, this year also government proudly presented Rs. 4.8 trillion federal budget in contradiction of the ground realities. As the experts comment that the budget is nothing more than the manipulation of statistics and numbers, additionally the maneuvering of people’s aspirations and circumstances.
It is pretty impressive to know that in 2017-18 budget the government has reserved Rs. 2113 billion for public sector development program (PSDP), which is 5.9pc of GDP. Thus, merely for federal PSDP, it is Rs. 1001 billion. Not only this, under the outside federal public sector development program, the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) has been allocated Rs. 121 billion.
The major portion of the total expenditure of PSDP budget Rs. 1001 billion have been allocated for federal public sector development program in 2017-18. This is an increase of 25.1pc from last year allocation of Rs 800 billion, of which Rs 715 billion were actually spent. It means that in 2016-17 government spent 85 billion less than the actual estimates.
Of the total federal PSDP in the current year, the government has allocated Rs. 40 and 45 billion for Special Federal Development Program (SFDP) and Relief and Rehabilitation of IDPs accordingly. This is 8pc of total federal PSDP outlay. On the other hand, during 2016-17 government allocated Rs. 28 billion for SFDP and Rs 100 billion to Relief and Rehabilitation of IDPs. It’s total coalesced to Rs. 128 billion but unfortunately remained unspent. This is the worthy point to note that government could not utilize 128 billion.
Furthermore, the corporations – WAPDA and NHA is also the part of federal PSDP. These components have been allocated Rs 380 billion as part of the Federal PSDP for the year 2017-18. This is 38pc of the total federal PSDP provision of Rs 1001 billion. During 2016-17, both these corporations spend Rs 344 billion, which was 48pc of total federal PSDP expenditure of Rs 715 billion. It means that a large portion of the outlay of federal PSDP only goes to these two corporations.
Apart from these corporations, federal PSDP has also some portion of about Rs. 30 billion for Prime Minister’s Global SDGs Achievement Programme in this year. This is 3pc of the total federal PSDP allocation of 2017-18. Last year Rs. 20 billion were allocated but the spending increased up to Rs. 42 billion, double than the actual amount of the total federal outlay of PSDP Rs. 715 billion. In this count major portion of the amount goes for the expenditures of MNAs and MPAs. The situation is messed up in some heads of expenditure, there is zilch expenditure, others have crossed double than actual amount and some heads are lower spent.
In addition to, the Federal Ministries/Divisions have been allocated Rs. 378 billion. This is 38pc of total federal PSDP budget of 2017-18. During 2016-17, Rs. 282 billion was allocated out of total federal PSDP outlay Rs. 715 billion, but spending was increased up to Rs. 298.52 billion. This was 42pc of total federal PSDP. The expenses were over spent in this head than actual estimates.
Above all, the development expenditure outside PSDP has been estimated at Rs 152.2 billion in 2017-18. Last year (2016-17), it was estimated at Rs 156.6 billion, but the actual spend was Rs. 127 billion. It shows that out of total estimated expenditure only 81pc was utilized.
Outside federal public sector development program, the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) has been allocated Rs. 121 billion in 2017-18. However, during 2016-17 the BISP was allocated Rs. 115, but the spending remained to 111 billion less than the actual allocation.
It is upright that government has initiated new projects in federal PSDP 2017-18 budget such as Clean Drinking Water for All, an amount of Rs 12.5 billion has been allocated in this head, about Rs. 5 billion has been earmarked for Special Provision for Competition of CPEC Projects and also an amount of Rs 12.5 billion has been allocated to Energy for All.
To conclude, the federal PSDP expenditure is one the very crucial to reduce poverty and bring about development. Therefore, the government ought to ensure appropriate utilization of the apportioned budget for inclusive sustainable growth.