ISLAMABAD - The PTI-led coalition government has slashed the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) by Rs125 billion for the ongoing fiscal year to restrict the widening budget deficit of the country.

The ministry of Planning Development and Reforms on Saturday released the details of the revised PSDP that showed that government has revised downwards the development budget to Rs675 billion for the year 2018-19 from budgetary allocation of Rs800 billion. The reduction of PSDP by Rs125 billion is part of the mini budget, which was announced by the incumbent government. The government had introduced amendments in Finance Bill to control the budget deficit that otherwise would have swelled to Rs2.9 trillion (7.2 percent of the GDP) as against the budget estimates of Rs1.89 trillion in current fiscal year, a difference of Rs900 billion.

It is pertinent to mention here that earlier the government was claiming that the PSDP 2018-19 has an allocation of Rs 1030 billion, but the claim was not supported by the Pink Book of the Finance ministry because it has a developmental allocation of only Rs 800 billion.

The government has revised the PSDP for federal ministries and divisions by Rs68.44 billion for the year 2018-19. The government has slashed the development budget for federal ministries and divisions to Rs371.9 billion from the budgetary allocation of Rs440.4 billion. Meanwhile, the PSDP for two corporations including National Highway Authority and NTDC/PEPCO has been reduced by Rs27.56 billion to Rs218.6 billion.

Similarly, the allocation for Earthquake Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Authority (ERRA) has been cut by Rs2 billion to Rs6.5 billion. Meanwhile, allocation for relief and rehabilitation of IDPs, security enhancement, Prime Minister's youth initiative, Gas Infrastructure Development Cess has been slashed by Rs27 billion.

In federal ministries, the government has reduced the development budget of Higher Education Commission (HEC) by Rs4.87 billion to Rs31 billion for the ongoing fiscal year. The government has also slashed the PSDP for Planning, Development & Reforms Division by Rs9 billon to Rs7 billion. The development budget for Railways Division has been cut by Rs6 billion to Rs28 billion. The PSDP for Capital Administration & Development Division has been reduced to Rs10 billion to Rs3.9 billion for the ongoing fiscal year. The interior ministry’s development budget has been slashed by 48 percent, or Rs11.4 billion, to Rs12.2 billion.

According to documents, the government has reduced the PSDP of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission by 6.7 percent, or Rs2 billion, to Rs26.7 billion. Similarly, budget for the Power Division has been cut by Rs3 billion to Rs33.3 billion.

In two corporations, the government has slashed development budget of the National Highway Authority (NHA) by 12 percent, or Rs25 billion, to Rs185.2 billion. Development budget for PEPCO and NTDC has been reduced by Rs3.3 billion to Rs3.3 billion.

Meanwhile, the incumbent government has also slashed the budget allocated for combined relief and rehabilitation of IDPs, security enhancement, Prime Minister's youth initiative, Gas Infrastructure Development Cess. The PSDP for these heads has been revised to Rs78 billion as compared to Rs105 billion allocated the PML-N government.