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APCC recommends Rs 1,310bn development outlay for FY14-15

ISLAMABAD: The Annual Plan Coordination Committee (APCC) here on Monday recommended Rs 1,310 billion for development budget 2014-15 including federal outlay of Rs 525 billion which is the highest outlay for development of the country.

The meeting was held here under the chairmanship of Minister for Planning and Development Professor Ahsan Iqbal recommended the development outlay of Rs 1310 billion including Rs 650 billion for provinces and Rs 135 billion for corporations comprising WAPDA, PEPCO and National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) to be financed by these organizations from their own resources.

“We have recommended a total development outlay of Rs 1,310 billion to National Economic Council (NEC) for approval which is the highest ever development budget in history of the country”, Ahsan Iqbal who is also Deputy Chairman Planning Commission told journalists after the conclusion of APCC here in his office this afternoon.

Professor Ahsan Iqbal said that APCC has recommended allocation for total 1024 projects worth Rs 5.6 trillion across the country including 303 new projects costing Rs 1.6 trillion.

The minister said that power sector has been recommended an allocation of Rs 260 billion, for transport sector Rs 153 billion including Rs 114 billion for National Highway Authority and Rs 40 billion for railways.

He added that the government would give special attention for revival of Pakistan Railways in order to further improve its efficiency for the benefit of the people.

The APCC also recommended an allocation of Rs 51 billion for education, health and population welfare sectors, the minister added.

He said a new programme of Pakistan Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has been recommended with an allocation of Rs 12.5 billion and the purpose of this programme would be to accelerate MDGs to meet the international criteria.

He said another new initiative National Human Development Endowment Fund and Rs 10 billion would be spent over the next four years on the project to provide scholarships to poor and needy students.

Professor Ahsan Iqbal said for the land acquisition of Karachi-Islamabad motorway project, an allocation of Rs 45 billion has been proposed by the APCC to accelerate work on this project.

He said special focus has also been given on Pak-China Economic Corridor Project in the APCC to boost trade with the China and Central Asian states.

The minister said that under the project for development of least developed areas of the country and for special initiatives, Rs 36 billion have been recommended by the APCC.

“Out of the total amount, the share of Balochistan would be Rs 15 billion, Sindh Rs 8 billion, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA Rs 4 billion, while for Azad Jammu and Kashmir Rs 3 billion and Gilgit-Baltistan Rs 2 billion have been proposed in the development outlay”, he remarked.

He said the Committee also proposed a new initiative “Technology Fund” with an allocation of Rs 500 million to encourage PHD scholars to do industry related research work.

He further said that for training of economic and development journalists, an new initiative “Capacity Building of Economic and Development Media” at a cost of Rs 25 million was proposed by the APCC.

For Higher Education Commission (HEC) Rs 20 billion have been  recommended by the Committee, he added.

For mainstreaming of Madressahs, he said, Rs 100 million has also been recommended by the APCC.

For Diamir Bhasha Dam project Rs 25 billion have been proposed including Rs 15 billion for land acquisition while Rs 10 billion for construction work of the of the mega project, whereas for stage one of Dasu Dam Project Rs 3.4 billion have been proposed by the APCC.

He said that the APCC has set a target of 5.1 percent GDP growth rate, while 8 percent inflation target, export target of US$ 27 billion, investment target of Rs 15.7 billion and saving target of Rs 14.6 billion for the next financial year.

The minister for Planning and Development appreciated the personal interest taken by the Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif in the preparation of Public Sector Development Programme for the financial year 2014-15 who himself chaired three meetings in this regard.

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