Under the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP), the Senate Standing Committee on Science and Technology has approved its demand of Rs. 3.6 billion against 49 projects for the financial year 2019-20.
According to the local news, the parliamentary panel was chaired by Mushtaq Ahmed in order to review the Ministry of Science and technology’s budgetary allocation and its utilization and scrutiny of PSDP proposals for the next fiscal year.
During the meeting, the committee was informed that the Ministry of Science and Technology has demanded an allocation of Rs. 3.6 billion for the financial year 2019-20 and 2.364 billion for 30 new projects and Rs. 1.205 billion for 19 ongoing projects.
It is to be noted that the Ministry of Planning Development and Reforms has previously given Rs. 3.07 billion for 33 projects and this new allocation is double than the previous year’s allocation of Rs. 1.48 billion. However, the committee agreed that this amount is not sufficient and the science and technology sector needs to be prioritized. The chairman speaking on the occasion said that only Rs. 1.5 billion had been allocated to the total budget of Rs. 6 trillion for the current financial year.
Meanwhile, the parliamentarians also expressed their concerns over the reports of irregularities and mismanagement in the ministry and its departments. Secretary Science and Technology Yasmeen Massod while briefing the committee on irregularities said that several cases have been sent to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for inquiry.
Director General Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET) speaking on the occasion said that the department has promoted renewable energy in the country but did not get a single project under the PSDP during that last 8 years.
Senator Dr. Sikandar Mandhro, Nuzhat Sadiq, Senator Kamran Michael, Senator Syed Muhammad Sabir Shah, Senator Gul Bashra, Secretary Science and Technology, representatives from HEC, PEC, NTC, were all present at the meeting.