KARACHI: Government has announced an amount of Rs 800 billion has been allocated for Federal Public Sector Development Program. In 2017-18 Federal Development Budget was Rs 1,000 billion.

PSDP will focus on completion of ongoing projects so that funds spent on these projects may not go to waste. Despite having the lowest population, comparatively the largest allocation is being spent on Balochistans’ Development so that the province can be brought at par with other parts of the country.

PSDP allocation for provinces and special areas (Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan) has been increased to Rs 136 billion. Dams that serve as water reservoirs are utmost priority. Additional funds have been allocated for earlier completion of Mohmand Dam and Diamir Bhasha Dam under the directives of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Highway connecting both sea ports to China will be completed. By expediting the completion of infrastructure projects and economic zones under CPEC, attention will be focused on economic growth and exports.

Development of infrastructure according to national needs is first priority. A total of Rs 395 billion has been allocated for this purpose. Enhancing generation, transmission and distribution of electricity is government’s priority. An amount of Rs 73 billion has been provided for power sector out of which Rs 12 billion will be spent on earlier completion of Mohamand Dam according to Prime Minister’s announcement. These water reservoirs will also be used for agriculture. Earlier completion of this project will benefit farmers.

Water resources sector is closely linked with power sector. An amount of Rs 100 billion is included in the budget for big multpurpose dams especially Diamir Bhasha, Mohamand Dam, Dasu Dam, Nai-Gaj Dam and commend area projects. Small dams, culverts, in less developed districts are also given priority. Power and water resources projects are interlinked for which a total of Rs 183 billion have been allocated.

An amount of Rs 202 billion has been allocated for highways and sea ports. Communication facility not only benefit industry and trade but also give market access to farmers rather tens of thousands of people get employment. Construction of highways through public private partnership will be encouraged.

Pakistan is a signatory of SDGs and is striving to achieve targets of SDGs. People are directly provided with civic facilities under this programme. To make the lives of people, easy and to serve the underprivileged people, a hefty amount of Rs 70 billion has been allocated. In addition, Rs 40 billion has been allocated for various other schemes in social sector.

Government has given priority to the completion of ongoing projects. An allocation of Rs 51 billion in the budget for higher education project has been proposed. An amount of Rs 24 billion has been allocated to provide better health services to people, control and eradicate viral diseases, provision of medical equipments, vaccination and enhancement in the capacity of health establishment.

An amount of Rs 10 billion has been allocated to meet this climate change challenge which includes plantation and other projects for improving natural environment.

Government has allocated Rs 17 billion for imparting training in IT sector, providing youth with laptops, improving network and promoting IT export.

An amount of Rs 11 billion has been allocated to modernize the agriculture sector and increase the use of machines, lazar leveling of land, modernizing the irrigation, provision of quality seeds and exports of agriculture products.

Steps to provide essential infrastructure and services for special economic zones are included in next year’s schemes so that market share in domestic and international market can be enhanced. An amount of Rs 5 billion has been allocated for value added export based on latest technology, mineral sector and industry.