ISLAMABAD - The previous government of PTI imposed drastic cut of Rs 400 billion on development budget 2021-22 and revised downwards the PSDP to Rs 500 billion, MPs were informed on Friday.

“Our development budget for the current financial year has come down from Rs 900 billion to Rs 500 billion due to unavailability of funds/fiscal deficit,” Secretary Planning said while briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Special Initiatives.

While briefing the Senate Standing Committee, the Secretary Planning informed that the CPEC Authority was already failing to do much, it is no longer needed and a bill for its abolition will soon be introduced in parliament.

Senate Standing Committee on Planning, which met under the chairmanship of Saleem Mandviwala, considered CPEC Authority Amendment Bill 2021 and 2022. Chairman of the Committee asked the Planning officials, “Is CPEC Authority being abolished?”

Bill for CPEC Authority abolition will soon be introduced in parliament, Senate body informed

Federal Minister for Planning has stated that CPEC Authority is being abolished, Mandviwala further asked. The Ministry of Law and relevant agencies are being consulted on the abolition of CPEC Authority, Secretary Planning said. The Federal Minister for Planning is of the view that the formation of CPECA has slowed down the pace of the corridor projects, the secretary added. The federal minister wants the realignment of the Authority, he informed.   The CPEC Authority was established to speed up the CPEC projects, Mandviwala remarked. The committee has deferred the CPECA amendment bill till the matter pertaining to the CPEC Authority is not clear. The federal minister will personally come and will inform the Committee regarding CPEC Authority, the secretary said.  On the development budget for the next fiscal, the committee was informed that the PSDP for the next financial year has not yet been finalized. Priorities are being set for the development budget for the next financial year, Secretary Planning added.

While briefing the Committee, Secretary Planning has informed that they have funds issues. Secretary said that in development funds, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir are given priority. Senator Abdul Qadir said that when there is no money, why a development budget of one thousand billion rupees is being allocated?