Home BRI Khusro partially admits “diverting Rs 24 billion from CPEC”, other heads

Khusro partially admits “diverting Rs 24 billion from CPEC”, other heads

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ISLAMABAD – Minister for Planning & Development Makhdum Khusro Bakhtiyar Friday partially admitted that the federal government had divert any funding from China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and reports regarding diverting Rs 24 billion from the CPEC allocation to parliamentarians for public sector development projects (PSDP) was wrong.

Talking to media here, the minister said that the federal government had diverted Rs 24 billion from some other heads to the PSDP and the amount was not diverted solely from the CPEC head.

“Yes, we have diverted some amount from the CPEC head but there are other heads too from where the amount was diverted. So technically, Rs 24 billion has been diverted from various heads including CPEC,” the minister said.

According to an official document, a copy of which is available with Pakistan Today, the planning commission said it had diverted Rs24 billion of the CPEC and other initiatives for discretionary spending on parliamentarians’ schemes as the process to dole out taxpayer money for politically motivated projects begins.

The Rs24 billion has been diverted from grant number 137, which is related to CPEC and other initiatives, showed official documents of the Ministry of Planning and Development. The money has been moved to the Cabinet Division’s grant number 108, which already has an allocation of Rs5 billion.

With additional Rs24 billion, the total spending on parliamentarians’ schemes would be Rs29 billion this year. In its last year, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government spent Rs32.6 billion under the PM’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Achievement Fund. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) administration has begun the journey with a Rs29-billion spending plan for its first year in power.

Both the PML-N and the PTI have used the name of SDGs to push ahead with their political agendas.

The CPEC and other initiatives have a total approved allocation of Rs27 billion and diversion of Rs24 billion suggests that CPEC projects will be adversely affected. This also shows that the PTI government gives less priority to CPEC and is keen to win and retain political loyalties of members of the National Assembly by doling out taxpayer money.

The discretionary spending is also a violation of the Supreme Court’s judgement in the discretionary spending case of former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf.          

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