Pro poor spending reaches Rs. 294 in three years- 2008-2011: PRSP-II progress report
Pro poor spending reaches Rs 294.3 billion mark through budgetary allocations, non budgetary programmes and microcredit loan schemes during three years (2008-2011) in a bid to reduce poverty and benefitted 17.28 million poor across the country, says a Progress Report on the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP)-II.
The key findings of the progress report were shared at a dissemination workshop in Islamabad. Nouman Ghani, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist gave presentation on, “protecting the poor and vulnerable and monitoring the PRSP output and outcome indictors”. He said during the PRSP-II period of three years, Rs 153.1 billion were spent through budgetary allocations, Rs 36.6 billion were spent through non budgetary programmes from various federal institutions such as workers welfare fund and others and Rs 104,6 billion were disbursed as microcredit loans to the poor. During this period, 8.04 million poor benefitted from the budgetary allocations, 3.45 million from the non budgetary allocations while 5.79 million poor benefitted through microcredit loan schemes.
Speaking on this occasion, National Project Director PRSP, Mr. Amjad Mahmood said the report covers as to how the pro poor spending in the budget did help poor through various safety nets and development activities. On a question regarding resilience building amid vulnerability of the poor to disasters he said that efforts were already being taken as the government is preparing a disaster action plan, Citizen’s Damage Compensation Programme (CDCP) responsible for providing cash grants. Similarly, focus is being put on the disaster risk reduction efforts in a bid to build resilience of the people against disasters.
Arif Anwar Baloch from the government of Punjab said National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has decided to establish disaster wings in all the provinces, which would be in liaison with the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA). Each province has decided to set aside an amount from their Annual Development Programme (ADP) for the sole purpose of disaster risk management.
National Project Manager PRSP, Sajjad Ahmed Shaikh, said the PRSP-II period was initially for a three year period from fiscal year 2008/09 to 2010/2011 but the process will continue beyond the expiry limit as per requirements of Fiscal Responsibility and Debt Limitation Act (FRDL-2005). He said Pakistan is amongst the lowest microfinance rates in South Asia with highly subsidized rates created through microfinance. Talking about MDGs relating to the health of women and children, he said the government is cognizant of the seriousness of the issues of health of both women and children and they are doing MDGs costing based on integrated macro modeling for federal government and the provinces. He said the government has ensured pro poor spending as was targeted and the studies of growth have been conducted to assess the impact of increased pro poor spending.
Ealier, Ms Shafaq Zaheer, (SSA) Social Sector Analyst (ISFD) on Macroeconomic Indicators in her presentation said despite the turbulent political and economic environment in the country, the GDP growth rate still managed to be at 2.4 percent in FY 2010/11. She also explained that Pakistan’s macroeconomic indicators showed a declining trend mainly because of the disastrous floods, low productivity, energy crisis and its involvement in the war on terror.
Farwa Basit Hafiza, Research Associate speaking about the trends in pro-poor budgetary expenditures for the three years said due to state of economy, pro poor expenditures witnessed mixed trends but what is worth mentioning is that the spending in education and health sectors were increased considerably and the percentage of pro poor spending reached 6.9% in fiscal year 2010-11 despite all odds whereas it was recorded 7.57% in 2009-10 and 7.46 in 2008-9.