Engineering Post Report
Sustainable economic development of Pakistan is dependent on a robust and low-cost transport and logistics sector. According to the experts, the government is fully aware of the vital role of the transport and logistics sector, therefore, it is committed to implement a comprehensive development initiative and modernizing the transport and logistics sector through a continuous process of reform supported by focused investment in all its sub-sectors.
The transport and logistics sector claims about 30 to 35 percent of the Annual Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) in order to meet the ever-growing needs of the country. However, even this amount of investments falls short to meet the demand. Accordingly, concerted efforts are being made in recent years to promote Public-Private-Partnership (PPPs) mode to leverage higher investment from the private sector and reduce the burden on the public exchequer to the maximum extent possible.
During the just commenced new financial year 2023-24 under the Annual Plan of the Federal Government major focus is on rural connectivity, development of poor districts, rehabilitation and recovery of the flood affected infrastructure, funding and initiations of the national level important strategic projects and seeking foreign funding and financing for the projects part of the CPEC framework. Besides engaging with the donor agencies for development loans to meet the gap of the public sector investment with the aim of increasing the capacity and fulfilling the infrastructure gaps in all parts of the country.
Although Vision 2025, CPEC Long Term Transport Plan and National Transport Policy 2018 have been completely harmonized/ aligned, and for the implementation of the National Transport Policy, a master plan for each sub-sector has already been developed with the help of the donor partners and the same was being updated/modified. Simultaneously, business plans are also going to be developed across each sub-sector)executing agency during the financial year 2023-24.
According to the information available from the official sources, Annual Plan 2023-24 focusses on the best possible utilization of the available financial resources for implementation of the ongoing projects and new ones envisaged through Federal PSDP in the different sectors of the transport infrastructure. The allocations as such have been made in line with the development agenda of the federal government based on the proposal/requirements of each sub-sector submitted by the relevant federal ministry/ division and departments and their existing utilization.
The performance during last financial year 2022-23 in each sub-sector has been found somewhat to be mixed and the expected utilization has not been achieved, due to the devastating floods which hit the country in July 2022, and poor economic conditions and construction industry experiencing high rate of inflation.
However, the sources expressed the confidence, the performance in each sub-sector is expected to be high during financial year owing to careful financial management and resource allocation. During last financial year 2022-23, an allocation of Rs 190.244 billion was made for the Transport and Logistics Sector . Out of which, total expenditure was reported to be around Rs 137.804 billion, showing utilization of 72.4 percent.
In order to tackle the limited financial resources and still remaining within the budget ceilings, a total allocation of Rs 271.70 billion has been made during the ongoing financial year 2023-24. The major resource allocation has been made for the sub-sector of roads b, followed by the railways sector.
In the PSDP 2023-24, the sources added, the main focus was on the development of multimodal/integrated transport system, farm to market roads, ensuring funds and implementation of railway projects for sustainability of the existing railway system, execution of the the federal government’s announced packages, and on the completion of the priority projects in each sub-sector.