Senate Standing Committee on Planning Development and Reforms in its meeting was given a briefing about the role of Pakistan Planning and Management Institute (PPMI) in capacity building of the officers of the government sector by arranging trainings on different planning and management operations including preparation of Project proposals, project monitoring an evaluation and enhancement of skills and expertise of public sector officials. Dr. Muhammad Ali Noor Director General PPMI told the meeting that the institute carries out common as well as specialised courses for skill enhancement, project and time management.
The Committee members were of the view that most of the courses are being done in a duration of 3-5 days and asked how an official can learn making a good project proposal or get his skills enhanced in this time. The Committee was told that duration of the training is being reduced worldwide but frequency of the refresher courses is enhanced and the courses are also made concentrated to provide the maximum advantage to trainees. The Committee was told that since 2010 229 courses have been offered and around 10,000 officers have benefitted from these trainings.
The Committee also discussed in detail the PSDP releases made for the last quarter of fiscal year 2018-19. Secretary Planning told the meeting that last year’s PSDP was initially of 1 trillion and was later rationalised to 675 billion. The PASDP like every year had two components; local and foreign. The local component comprised 531 billion and component comprised 144 billion. The actual amount released in the previous financial year was 678 billion i.e. three billion more than the actual PSDP. The Committee held briefings by ministries of Communications, Power, Water and Finance on the state of releases in the last quarter and was surprised to know that NHA wasn’t released any money in the last quarter.
Secretary Planning told that NHA’s allocated budget last year was 188 billion and budget released was 251 billion and hence was 134% of the actual budget. The Committee asked the Finance Division to release the 3.2 billion to NHA for the Khuzdar Khuchlak section of motorway.
Similarly, the total allocation to ministry of water was 103% of total allocation. Regarding the four PSDP funded projects the Committee was told that 603 million was demanded by power division and only 80 million was released. The Committee decided to call and check the Physical and financial progress of the projects to see if the funds released were used appropriately and if there is a need for more releases.
The Committee was given a briefing on the implementation status of the recommendations for PSDP 2019-20 (Budget session) made by the Committee in June, 2019. Secretary Planning told the meeting that the consultative process starts in March and by the time the Committee makes its budget recommendations in June, it is too late for them to be incorporated. The Secretary suggested having the PSDP recommendations as early as April from next year onwards. The Committee agreed to this proposal but also expressed concerns over the addition of 44 schemes before Parliamentary approval. The sub-constituted on the matter in the previous meeting will look into this matter in detail.