NEC approves Rs 730 billion PSDP: Hafeez Shaikh

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Dr.Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said on Saturday that the National Economic Council (NEC) has approved Rs.730 billion for Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2011-12 with focus on social and infrastructure sectors development and completion of ongoing projects to benefit people of the development projects and economic prosperity of the country.He was briefing the newsmen on the decisions of the NEC which met here under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani today.Dr.Shaikh said that the NEC also approved the new growth strategy which was prepared and presented to the Council by the Planning Commission focusing on enhancing economic growth rate, and create job opportunities to the youth in the country.“Out of total PSDP-2011-12 allocations approved by the NEC the Federal share is Rs.300 billion while 430 billion will be the provincial share which is 58 percent higher than last fiscal year”, he remarked.Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr. Nadeem ul Haq, Secretary Planning Division Sohail Ahmed, Secretary Information Taimur Azmat Usman, PIO Muhammad Saleem and senior officials of Ministry of Finance and Planning  were also preent in the briefing.Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Dr.Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said that during the outgoing Financial year 2010-11 the federal PSDP share was Rs.290 billion including Rs.10 billion for Earthquake Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Authority (ERRA).He said that federal share was reduced to Rs.196 billion due to last years devastating floods.He added that the provincial share was Rs.424 billion which was also reduced to Rs.266 billion so the total PSDP was amounted to Rs.462 billion.The Minister for Finance said that NEC for the forthcoming Financial year 2011-12 has approved Rs.730 billion with federal share of Rs.300 billion.He said that this significant point for this year’s PSDP has been focused on three main areas including early completion of projects which are now in the advanced stages, speedy completion of foreign funded projects and balanced development of all area including Azad Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan, FATA and Balochistan will be given importance in the development project execution.Dr. Hafeez Shaikh said that projects of national economic importance like Diamer Basha dam would be given top priority in the  PSDP 2011-12 for the economic development of the country.The Minister said that to meet the development projects government would enhance its revenues through bringing more people in the tax net who are not paying their taxes.He said that government believes in transparency, therefore  he has directed the Planning Division to publish the details of all the projects including the completed projects as well as those initiated by the government for the welfare of people of the country.

He asked the people to bring to the notice of the government if any development project has not been completed so that they should know that their tax money has been utilized properly.Highlighting the sectoral allocations in the PSDP-2011-12, the Minister said that for Infrastructure Rs.155 billion has been earmarked while for Social sector Rs.122 billion has been allocated and for other sectors Rs.23 billion has been approved.“Our focus in the PSDP-2011-12 would be on infrastructure and social sector development to improve the living conditions of the people”, he remarked.Dr Hafeez Shaikh said that the government has adopted a number of measures for reducing and controlling its expenditures.
He said that the GDP growth would be between 2.4 to 2.5 percent.The Minister said that the Planning Commission has initiated new growth strategy which will help enhance economic growth by 6-7 percent in coming years and create employment opportunities to the youth.He reiterated that the government would not remain in the business and only play the role of a facilitator and regulator for the private sector development in the country.

He added that the cities would be developed as engine of growth and under the new growth strategy assets management would be given priority.He hoped that under the new growth strategy the GDP growth would be enhanced to create job opportunities.Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Dr.Nadeem Ul Haq said that the economic growth would be enhanced through Public-Private Partnership (PPP), restructuring  and privatization of national assets.“We do not want to see losses to national assets/entities, which will  be restructured by improving their management and involving professionals”, he remarked.He said inflation in the country was currently 15 percent and the average inflation rate would remain 12 percent for the next year which would be  further brought down to 8 percent by the end of next financial year. – APP