Despite Economic Crunch, Govt Secures Fund For MPs Ahead Of Elections

Despite Economic Crunch, Govt Secures Fund For MPs Ahead Of Elections
Though the general elections are still under the clouds of uncertainty, the cash-starved PDM coalition in a 'smart move' has secured a substantial fund for MPs for development schemes.

The Sustainable Development Goals Achievement Programme (SAP), that will surely be put to use by MPs for the development projects, has been approved.

In order to appease voters in their constituencies, the parliamentarian will be allowed to use this grant in the current election year.

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet Wednesday took no time to approve another Rs20 billion for SAP.

The ECC meeting chaired by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has Rs20 billion in favour of the Cabinet Division for the programme.

Initially, the present government allocated Rs70 billion for SAP in the budget, but the volume was spiked to Rs111 billion after approval of different supplementary grants during the past few months.

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The opposition members, too, on the point of order in the parliament, are often seen criticising the government for not issuing development funds.

The present government, at the same time, has been claiming that it has strictly adopt austerity measures to keep the economic wheel of the country moving, amid a critical crunch.

In February, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced sweeping austerity measures for his Cabinet, as the country continues to grapple with the worst economic crisis.

Terming the steps imperative in the current economic conditions, PM Shehbaz said that they would help save Rs200 billion annually.

Earlier this month, the Election Commission submitted its final report on Punjab polls to Supreme Court, reiterating that it did not have the funds or the security to conduct the provincial polls.

As the country's top court last month ordered government to hold snap polls in Punjab, the Commission maintained it hadn't even printed ballot papers and other material, due to the unavailability of funds.