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ower sector deprived of PSDP funding

As the country is going through the worst energy crisis with the electricity shortfall hovering around 6,000MW, not a single penny was released for the power sector under the federal Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2012-13, said sources on Friday.

The PSDP 2012-13 envisages 39 small-, medium- and large-scale power sector projects.

The Planning and Development Division has released Rs38.3 billion, or 16 percent, in the first two months of the current fiscal year to different ministries and divisions for development projects under the public sector development programme (PSDP) against the full-year target of Rs233 billion, they said.

According to official figures released by the Planning Commission, of Rs38.3 billion released, Rs19.6 billion has been released for infrastructure projects, Rs17.4 billion for social sector projects and Rs0.5 billion for projects in other sectors under the PSDP 2012-13.

A sum of Rs0.8 billion was also released to the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA), the sources said, adding that total size of the PSDP stands at Rs360 billion, including foreign aid of Rs100 billion and funds of Rs27 billion for special programmes.

Releases against the special programmes are being made by the cabinet and finance divisions, while the foreign aid disbursement amount is received in the economic affairs division, they said.

The PSDP envisages 342 infrastructure development projects, 670 social sector development projects and 68 projects in other sectors.

Of total releases in two months, Rs274.746 million were released to the commerce division, Rs496.607 million were released to defence division, Rs42.543 million to the economic affairs division, Rs1.729 billion to finance division, Rs146.898 million to industries division, Rs53.617 million to petroleum and natural resources and not a single penny was released to the power sector under the PSDP.

Last year’s PSDP releases target was missed by 25 percent and the entire scheme was marred by inadequate funding and several shortcomings in the identification and preparation, appraisal, approval, execution and completion phases, said the sources.

Though PSDP projects contributed to the national economy, these were not enough in the backdrop of rapidly growing population and consequent increased demand for infrastructure facilities, according to a Planning Commission document.

Proper feasibility studies were not undertaken in some projects, resulting in ill-conceived, weak project preparation; ownership issues between the provinces and districts generated sustainability issue during the operational phase and unrealistic financial phasing resulted in delayed, insufficient funding and delayed project execution.

In certain projects, envisaged results were not achieved due to weak scrutiny and inaccurate economic analysis.

The commission also highlighted delay in the contract award, hiring of consultants, problems in land acquisition, inadequate funding, management capability and inefficiency of executing agencies for inefficient project handling resulting into delays.

In addition, due to delayed transfer of projects to recurring budget the cost overruns, added the report.

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