Pakistan govt gives special importance to CPEC projects in national budget

Islamabad: The government has given a special importance to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects in the Rs 18,877 billion national budget presented on Wednesday.

The CPEC projects are given special importance, reflecting their strategic significance in the overall development framework.

Alongside CPEC, the development focuses on the 5Es (Exports, Equity, Empowerment, Environment, and Energy Framework) and the 4RF (Resilient, Recovery,
Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction Framework). New projects are encouraged to support exports, productivity, digital infrastructure, innovation-driven enterprises, agroindustry, seed development, blue economy, science & technology, Research and Development (R&D), and innovation reforms. Balanced development, regional equity, and sustainable economic growth are also included in PSDP 2024-25.

The Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2024-25 covers a wide range of infrastructure and development projects across various sectors.

These include the construction and rehabilitation of highways and motorways, establishment of power generation facilities, transmission lines, and grid stations.

Additionally, water resource management projects, such as dams, canals, and water supply schemes, are also included.

In the transportation sector, projects aim to improve road networks, enhance connectivity between major cities and regions, and upgrade existing infrastructure to handle increased traffic volumes. Energy infrastructure projects focus on constructing hydropower dams, solar power plants, and transmission lines to ensure efficient power distribution and meet growing energy demands. Water resource management efforts include the construction of dams, irrigation systems, and drainage networks to mitigate flooding and ensure sustainable water supply for agricultural and domestic use.

The federal government has announced the largest-ever PSDP for 2024-25, with a budget set at Pakistani Rs 1500 billion, including Rs100 billion designated for Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode projects. This allocation represents a 101 percent increase compared to the revised budget of the previous year’s PSDP 2023-24.

According to the budget document for 2024-25, this unprecedented PSDP size underscores the government’s commitment to advancing infrastructure and tackling critical issues in transportation, energy, and water resources management. These efforts are aimed at spurring economic growth and enhancing the quality of life for citizens.

In PSDP 2024-25, the emphasis is on completing ongoing projects, with approximately 81 percent of resources allocated to these initiatives, while only 19 percent is reserved for new projects. The infrastructure sector, a primary responsibility of the federal government, receives over 61 percent of allocations, followed by the social sector at 17 percent, and balanced regional development (AJ&K, GB, and Merged Districts of KP) with 10 percent. About 12 percent of resources are allocated to other sectors such as IT & Telecom, Science & Technology, Governance, and Production sectors.

The guidelines approved by the National Economic Council (NEC) for PSDP 2024-25 prioritize funding for projects in advanced stages of execution, strategic ongoing projects, particularly in water resources, transport, communications, and energy sectors, and foreign-aided projects to ensure the smooth execution and continuous inflow of foreign exchange. Projects with over 80% expenditure are also prioritized to be completed within FY 2024-25 to quickly deliver financial and economic benefits.