Shahbaz government opened treasury for MPs before elections

A view of the construction going on in Clifton area of ​​Karachi.  - AFP/File
Visuals of construction going on in Clifton area of ​​Karachi. – AFP/File
  • MP’s discretionary funding priority for PDM-led government.
  • The planning ministry will go ahead with the strategy to release the funds.
  • The government will release 15% of the funds in the first quarter.

Islamabad: The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government has approved the release of funds worth billions of rupees for a development plan for parliamentarians months ahead of elections, it emerged on Monday.

In the first quarter of the current financial year, the government approved the release of 131 billion rupees, equivalent to 15% of the funds allocated for discretionary schemes of MPs, specifically under the Sustainable Development Goal Achievement Program (SAP).

Prioritizing MPs’ discretionary funding within the SAP program in the form of development funds remains a key focus for the PDM-led government in Islamabad, which will end its constitutional term on August 12, 2023, making it a different approach. Will become.

According to an Office Memorandum (OM) issued by the Finance Ministry, the strategy for release of funds for the development budget in the current financial year 2023-24 will be done by the Planning, Development and Special Initiatives (PD&S) Division.

This is in accordance with the provisions laid down in the Public Finance Management Act, 2019, Rule 3(9) of the Cash Management and Treasury Single Account Rules, 2020 and the Financial Management and Powers of Principal Accounts Officers Regulation, 2021.

Out of the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) allocation for CFY for approved projects, 15% funds will be released in Q1, 20% for Q2, 25% for Q3, and 40% for Q4.

The PSDP is 950 billion rupees of which 131 billion rupees or 15% will be released in the first quarter of the current financial year.

The amount released against the dedicated amount for SDGs during FY2013 will be Rs 20.26 billion. Parliament had passed a resolution to make the SAP fund non-lapsable at the time of budget approval.

The amount released for SDG schemes approved for FY2014 is Rs 41 billion, which will also be released in the first quarter of the current financial year. During the first quarter of FY24, Rs 69.74 billion of the available funds for the remaining PSDP schemes will be released, hence the total release of Rs 131 billion.

Also there has been abuse of powers as there is a retired officer who was re-hired on a project but he was paid honorarium in alleged violation of all rules in the Ministry of Planning.

The PD&SI Division and the concerned Principal Accounts Officer (PAO) shall ensure implementation of the provisions contained under Chapter-III of the Public Finance Management Act, 2019 while executing the development projects.

The PD&SL Division will prepare a quarterly sector-wise/project-wise/division-wise strategy for release of funds for PSDP within the appropriation approved by the National Assembly and included in the Schedule of Authorized Expenditure in terms of Article 83 of the Constitution. Pakistan.

Any proposal for change in the limit prescribed at (i) above will be considered by the Budget Wing, Finance Division on a case to case basis and will require prior approval of the Finance Secretary. Funds for projects approved in Demand for Grants and Appropriation will be released by the PAO every quarter within the above limit.

PAO will ensure availability of adequate funds for Employee Related Expenditure (ERE) for each project. No re-appropriation of funds from ERE to non-ERE heads of account shall be made by the PAO/Head of the concerned Department/Head of Subordinate Office or Project Director without the prior concurrence of the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives.

Adequate budgetary allocation on account of foreign exchange component (rupee cover) will be ensured by all relevant PAOs and conveyed to the Economic Affairs Division and Finance Division. Foreign currency payments would require prior approval of the External Finance Wing of the Finance Division.

While examining requests for such funds, the External Finance Wing will consider the availability of foreign exchange.

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