The federal government has shut down a number of Public Sector Development Programmes projects because of financial constraints. Some of the projects were introduced by the previous government.
A total of 11 projects worth Rs13 billion have been closed. This includes the Rs10 billion National Endowment Scholarship for Talent (NEST) which was launched in 2018. Interestingly, Rs5.2 billion have already been spent on this project up to June 2018, according to an official document available with SAMAA TV.
The programme provided scholarships to students from matric to MS/MPhil and PhD. It was given to people who are unable to pursue higher education because of financial constraints. Along with the tuition fee, the scholarship took care of the cost of books, transport and hostels.
The previous PML-N government had set funds worth Rs800 billion for development projects under the PSDP for the financial year 2018-19, which was later revised down to Rs675 billion by the incumbent PTI government.
The other development projects which have been closed down include the establishment of Pakistan Urban Planning and Policy Centre, research centres and forming an institution for capacity building for energy.
According to the Ministry of Planning and Development, other projects which have been shut include formation of an integrated transport infrastructure planning and management unit, inspector general development project Balochistan (Phase 2), the up-gradation of Jawid Azfar Computer Centre, establishment of climate change and environment section, PPMI centre of excellence and a project on feasibility study on cluster development based mineral transformation plan for 2025.
Most of these projects were the brainchild of Ahsan Iqbal, the former minister for planning and development. Meanwhile, according to an official document, Rs24 billion out of the Rs27 billion earmarked for CPEC and other initiatives have been transferred to the cabinet division.