Senate Committee Receives Briefing On PPMI’s Officers Training Course
ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Reforms was apprised about the role of Pakistan Planning and Management Institute (PPMI) in capacity building of public sector officials by arranging trainings on different planning and management operations, including preparation of project proposals, project monitoring and evaluation and enhancement of skills and expertise.
PPMI Director General (DG) Dr Muhammad Ali Noor told the meeting that the institute was offering common as well as specialised courses for skill enhancement, and project and time management.
The committee members were of the view that most of the courses offered by the institute were completed in a period of three to five days and asked the DG if it was possible for an official to learn making a good project proposal or get his skills enhanced in such a short time.
The committee was informed that the duration of the training is being reduced worldwide but frequency of the refresher courses are being enhanced to provide maximum advantage to trainees. It was apprised that since 2010, around 229 courses have been offered by PPMI and around 10,000 officers have benefitted from these trainings.
Meanwhile, the committee also discussed in detail the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) fund releases for the last quarter of the fiscal year 2018-19. Planning secretary informed the committee members that last year’s PSDP funds were decided at one trillion rupees but the amount was later revised to Rs675 billion.
As is the case every year, PSDP had two components – local and foreign. The local component was worth Rs531 billion and latter was Rs144 billion. The actual amount released in the previous financial year was Rs678 billion i.e. three billion more than the actual PSDP.
The committee also received briefings from the ministries of Communications, Power, Water and Finance in connection with development funds released last year. They were surprised to know that National Highway Authority (NHA) had not received any funds in the last quarter.
The Planning secretary informed the meeting that NHA’s allocated budget last year was Rs188 billion and the budget released amounted to Rs251 billion, which is 134 per cent of the actual budget. The committee asked the Finance Division to release the Rs3.2 billion to NHA for the construction of the Khuzdar-Khuchlak section of motorway.
Similarly, he said that the total allocation to the Ministry of Water was 103 per cent of total allocation. In relation to the four PSDP funded projects, the committee was apprised that Rs603 million was demanded by the Power Division and only Rs80 million was released.
Moreover, the committee was given a briefing on the implementation status of the recommendations for PSDP 2019-20 (budget session) made by the committee in June this year.
The Planning secretary told the meeting that the consultative process in this connection would start in March and by the time the committee makes its budget recommendations in June; it would be too late for them to be incorporated into the final proposal.
The secretary suggested that the committee should seek recommendations from PSDP as early as April from next year onwards. The committee agreed to this proposal but expressed concerns over the addition of 44 new schemes before parliamentary approval.
The author is a reporter based in Islamabad.