Islamabad – The government has allocated Rs28.9 billion for development projects in the twin cities in the Public Sector Development Programme 2013-14, but less than one-fifth of the allocations went to new schemes.
Only Rs4.8 billion were allocated for new projects in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. The projects include a land acquisition for approach roads to the Benazir Bhutto Airport, upgradation of some health and educational institutions in Islamabad and road construction work on the federal capital’s outskirts, according to the budget document released on Wednesday.
The bulk of the allocations — around 83.4 per cent — were made for ongoing development schemes.
Among the ministries, the water and power division received the highest percentage of the allocations for the twin cities: 19.4 per cent. The Rs5.6 billion PSDP allocations for the division will mostly be spent mostly on ongoing projects such as the construction of two dams in Rawalpindi as well as distribution and transmission programmes in-progress at the Islamabad Electric Supply Company.
The PSDP allocation for Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) almost doubled compared to 2012-13. The division was allocated Rs1.5 billion for 2013-14, almost twice the Rs0.78 billion in allocations it received during the previous fiscal year.
The recently established National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination Division has the second-highest allocation for the twin cities with Rs2.93 billion. Among its top ongoing schemes, the health services division has been allocated around Rs2.8 billion for the Expanded Programme on Immunization at the National Institute of Health in Islamabad and Rs56 million for a federal drugs surveillance laboratory.
The Interior Division received the most money for new development projects in the federal capital. It would be responsible for 39 new development schemes with a total allocation of around Rs1.65 billion.
Development Schemes for the rural areas
The bulk of Interior Division’s new schemes address the lack of development on Islamabad’s outskirts.
Around Rs32 million have been allocated for the rehabilitation of six kilometers of roads in the rural area while around Rs53 million have been set aside for a feasibility study on construction of bridges and solar-based water supply schemes for the villages, according to the budget documents. Around Rs49.9 million have been allocated for providing drainage facilities in Sihala.
Other new development projects for the rural areas which received PSDP allocations include upgradation of a water supply scheme at Shahdra, improvements in the roads and streets at Golra, rehabilitation of Pagh Panwal road, water supply schemes in Sihala, Ali Pur and Nai Abadi and pavement construction in at least 26 villages.
The government has allocated Rs65 million to establish a Federal Breast Cancer Screening Centre at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in Islamabad. Foreign aid worth Rs298 million from the Government of Japan were allocated for the replacement and purchase of equipments at Polyclinic hospital.
While the Higher Education Commission received allocations of Rs2.6 billion for new schemes, the only notable new projects in Rawalpindi and Islamabad include an un-approved plan for the uplifting for the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology which was allocated Rs150 million, strengthening of the Islamabad campus of the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology and the construction of Girls Hostel at Fatima Jinnah Women University in Rawalpindi that received Rs70 million.
Not for the common man
The Cabinet Division has been allocated around Rs272.6 million on new projects that have exactly zero relevance for the residents of the twin cities. These schemes include construction of additional blocks for the Senate and National Assembly Secretariat, stronger security arrangements at the Parliament Lodges and two projects related to the Islamabad Heliport.