Cash-starved govt doles out Rs90bn to lawmakers.

ISLAMABAD -- Amid fiscal challenges, the government has increased development funds for parliamentarians by almost 30 per cent from budgetary allocations to Rs90 billion and is set to distribute about Rs8.4bn to farmers through database of the Sindh government.

This was the crux of a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Wednesday that also approved almost Rs1bn in additional funding for the maintenance of rest houses and residences of the judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in various cities across the country.

Presided over by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, the ECC meeting also approved about 25pc increase in the price of a vial used in pregnancy tests and an assistance package to families of persons who lost lives during a recent political march. The meeting deferred a decision on a proposal for an increase in the prices of 54 other medicines.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had a day earlier said that Pakistan faced fiscal and economic challenges and wanted the IMF support to sail through these difficult times.

ECC okays Rs1bn for maintenance of apex court judges' residences

A day later, the ECC was told that Rs70bn had been allocated for Sustainable Development Goals Achievement Programme (SAP) in the FY23 budget while another Rs17bn was diverted a couple of months ago on the orders of the SAP Steering Committee led by Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal.

Informed sources said Rs87bn is being utilised at the rate of Rs500 million each in the 174 constituencies of members of the National Assembly supporting Prime Minister Sharif. However, some more funds were required for schemes in 'deprived areas/communities' and hence Rs3bn additional funds were arranged through diversion from other heads. The total funds under SAP schemes thus amounted to Rs90bn for the current fiscal year, the ECC was told. Of these about Rs47bn would be used in Punjab, Rs28bn in Sindh and about Rs7bn each in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The ECC also approved a summary of the Ministry of Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety for the diversion of Rs8.4bn to the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) for cash subsidy to farmers affected by floods instead of subsidy for wheat seed (Rabi 2022-23). Further, the ECC directed BISP to initiate cash disbursement through its partner banks as per eligibility criteria and the amount to be disbursed to each eligible person identified by the Government of Sindh.

The ECC also approved another...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT