ISLAMABAD - The government is likely to enhance the sanction powers of Provincial Development Working Party (PDWP) to Rs20 billion, while the pow­ers of Gilgit Baltistan (GB) and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) development forums are being increased to Rs2 billion.

The government will seek the nod of the National Eco­nomic Council (NEC) for en­hancing the sanction powers of the Provincial Development Working Party (PDWP), GB and Azad Jammu and Kash­mir development forums, of­ficial source told The Nation. The sanction powers of the PDWP is recommended to be increased to Rs20 billion from the existing Rs10 billion, the source said. The sanction powers of the development forums of AJK and GB are also being revised upward to Rs2 billion from the existing limit of Rs1 billion, the source said. However, the sanction powers of Departmental Development Working Party (DDWP) are being downward revised to Rs500 million from the exist­ing Rs2 billion.

A summary had been moved to the NEC during the tenure of the previous government, but the assumption of power by the present government it was returned to the Planning Commission for revision. The source said that now a revised summary for the enhancement of sanction powers of various development forums will be moved to the Executive Com­mittee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) for approval.

Departmental Development Working Party (DDWP) has the sanctioning powers of Rs2 billion. DDWP is chaired by the Federal Secretary of the Ministry/ Division/ Principal Accounting Officer (PAO). The previous government had in­creased the sanctioning power of DDWP from Rs60 million to Rs2 billion. The AJK and GB development foras have the sanctioning power of up to Rs1 billion, which is being enhanced to Rs2 billion, the source said.

Sanction powers of development forums of AJK and GB also being revised upward to Rs2bfrom existing limit of Rs1b

The Provincial Develop­ment Working Party (PDWP) is a forum for the approval of projects from Rs400 mil­lion to Rs10 billion. For the PDWP, various provinces have submitted various proposals. Accoridng to Sindh, it should have unlimited sanction pow­ers, while Punjab wants to keep it at Rs15 billion, Balo­chistan wants Rs10 billion. The Planning Commission wants to find reasonable sanc­tioning power and is likely to propose its enhancement to Rs20 billion, the source said.

Central Development Work­ing Party (CDWP) which works under Planning Com­mission of Pakistan has the sanctioning powers of up to Rs10 billion and considers the projects recommended by the PDWP and DDWP to it. The sanction powers of the CDWP had been increased by the pre­vious government from Rs3 billion to Rs10 billion. Now it can approve projects up to Rs10 billion and recommend the projects costing above Rs10 billion to Executive Com­mittee of National Economic Council (ECNEC).

The ECNEC is the highest fo­rum for the approval of devel­opment schemes having cost of more than Rs10 billion or project involving foreign com­ponent. In 2020, the PTI gov­ernment had revised upward the sanctioning power of the Executive Committee of Na­tional Economic Council (EC­NEC), from Rs3 billion to Rs10 billion. Now it considers the projects above Rs10 billion.