ISLAMABAD : The National Economic Council approved on Thursday national development plans and Rs650 billion for the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP). The provinces will be spending Rs674 billion under the Annual Development Programme (ADP) during the upcoming financial year. Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a meeting of the National Economic Council and reviewed the economic situation of the current financial year and the targets for the next financial year. The premier has also directed support for sectors affected by COVID-19 on a priority basis and the creation of new job opportunities. This year’s PSDP budget is 7.3% less than last year’s, which was revised to Rs701 billion from an initial figure of Rs951 billion as the country faced difficulties generating revenue and had to abide by the IMF’s conditions. PM Khan stressed the need to ensure coordination between the federal and provincial governments in finalising and implementing development projects. He also directed that two meetings of the National Economic Council must be held annually to review the progress of PSDP projects. The Central Development Working Party has been allowed to approve projects worth Rs10 billion and the Departmental Development Working Party has been allowed to approve up to Rs2 billion. Rs81.55 billion has been set aside for water resources and Rs13.70 billion for home ministry projects while a recommendation was made to reserve Rs70 billion to deal with COVID-19. It was also recommended in the meeting to set aside Rs52 billion for Islamabad, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. The participants were told that 149 projects worth Rs827 billion will be completed by June 30 this year.
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