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Punjab set to raise ADP by 77pc in its annual budget today

LAHORE: Punjab is set to present huge Rs550bn Annual Development Programme (ADP) in its annual budget for the fiscal year 2021-22 being tabled today (Monday).

The upcoming year’s ADP is 77.5pc higher than the ongoing Rs310bn programme ending on June 30. It focuses massive roads infrastructure development, social sector, health and education and public welfare, minorities and industry.

“The Punjab’s annual budget will be people-friendly having a lot for all in various important sectors. We are also announcing a special package for the industrialists in addition to several welfare projects for the people,” Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht said on Sunday.

Under the ADP, the government is allocating Rs94bn for the health sector, including Rs60bn for launching universal health insurance for all, and under this project, it plans covering 100pc population by December this year.

Similarly, Rs34bn have been kept for other health-related schemes, including construction of new hospitals, facilities and upgrade of the existing ones the government plans to launch. An amount of Rs51bn has been kept for education sector whereas the agriculture sector would have a development share of Rs35bn—almost double of the ongoing fiscal year.

To boost the education sector, the government desires to spend Rs51bn on constructing new schools, upgrading existing primary to middle schools by starting classes of 6 to 8 in the second shift and controlling the students’ dropout ratio. The agriculture sector would get Rs35bn allocation.

Since one-third (over 33pc) of the ADP is supposed to be used for South Punjab — Multan, Bahawalpur and DG Khan divisions — several projects have been planned to be executed in health, education and road infrastructure sectors.

The ADP also emphasises the uplift of minorities as allocations for various new schemes have been increased five times more than this year and completion of the ongoing schemes to reduce the burden of through-forward development, which has reached to Rs1,300bn.

It also encourages the project launched under public-private partnership (PPP), build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) or build, operate and transfer (BOT) modes.

It also has considerable allocations for several schemes to be launched in small cities under District Development Package.

“It is an inclusive budget that also has a lot in various sectors, including horticulture development, a retreat village for special children in Sheikhupura, projects for the promotion of tourism and high performance cricket centres in Faisalabad and Sialkot,” claims an official source.

He was of the view that the implementation on such a huge ADP would be a challenge, keeping in view the less utilisation of funds under the ADP during the ongoing financial year.

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