Planning Secretary Zafar Hassan informed a Senate panel that the government has spent 18% extra funds on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2018-19.
Hassan said during a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Reform, “The government released Rs192 billion in the previous fiscal year for CPEC projects against the total allocation of Rs167.16 billion.”
Senator Talha Mehmood explained that because of the extreme national importance, CPEC projects should be preferred over other programs. He wondered why and where 24 billion out of Rs27 billion rupees were reallocated.
Hassan said the amount was not specifically allocated for CPEC projects. “Let me clarify that Rs27 billion was placed in an excess pool of the PSDP, which could have been utilised for CPEC projects on a need basis,” he said.
The planning secretary told the meeting that the funds had been transferred to the Cabinet Division and used for small grassroots projects in less developed areas of the country.
He clarified that the previous government had made a token allocation for more than 343 unapproved projects whose implementation was not expected in the near future. Therefore, he said, in order to avoid extra expenditure due to delay in projects, “we have delayed most of these projects and funds were diverted to other important projects.”
Talking about renewable energy projects under CPEC, the officials informed the meeting that the CPEC framework included seven wind power projects of 398MW, of which five projects of 299MW had already been completed. Likewise, 1,000MW solar power projects in the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park, Bahawalpur were also part of CPEC.
In addition, the meeting was informed that to ensure security of energy and supplies, the Government was focusing on harnessing the abundant wind and solar resources for power generation, taking into account the best possible way to take advantage of the fall in the prices of renewable energies.
The government also formulated the Alternative Renewable Energy (ARE) Policy 2019 after the expiry of ARE 2006 Policy with the aim of creating a robust framework for creating an environment conducive for sustainable growth of the ARE sector in Pakistan.
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