Unchecked Expenditure – How Political Self-Interest Hinders Equitable Resource Distribution in Pakistan

Political Spending, Sustainable Development Goals, Public Funds Abuse, Equitable Resource Distribution, Pakistan Economic Challenges

Equitable Resource distribution –Tendency of Public Funds Abuse

During the present tough economic times in Pakistan, usually associated with responsible leadership, there should be a principle of allocating scarce resources to benefit the public interest above all. Nevertheless, in Pakistan, there is an alarming tendency for egoistic political choices while spending public exchequer money, aggravating economic problems experienced by the public of Pakistan. In this article, we’ll discuss all issues pertaining to the Funds allocation, spending, Pre-Poll Rigging, and how the ex-PDM administration and subsequent interim government are misusing national resources for electoral benefits.

Disproportionate Spending on Political Schemes

The latest news on this scourge reveals that a third part of the federal funds used as development expenditure in the first quarter of the current fiscal was spent on projects for members of parliament under the Sustainable Development Goals Achievement Program (SAP). Nonetheless, this uneven distribution of resources with a view to winning political favor still exists in Pakistan under the new interim government under the leadership of Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakkar, raising the issue of fairness of resource allocation, and blatantly violating the Election Rules.

Impact on Infrastructure Development

Once again, the country’s under-financed and stalled program of infrastructural development is held back by significant cuts for the third consecutive year, thus retarding the progress of crucial undertakings. Pakistan’s economy has been burdened with additional challenges due to this decision to halt major infrastructure initiatives such as Roads, Dams, and other public sector programs. The misdirection of these dollars is questionable for one, as it redirects more money into local political schemes at the expense of urgent national problems, in an attempt to the gain political power in the next term.

Election-Year Tactics and Budget Discrepancies

Information from the planning commission reveals that the portion taken by parliamentarians’ schemes was a bigger chunk from the federal public sector development program compared to other parts of Pakistan such as AJK, Gilgit-Baltistan, and the ex-fata. During the first four months, the parliamentarians’ expenditure was above 30% of the annual budget while disbursements for ministry divisions and corporations were generally low implying a biased spending agenda by the parliamentarians.

Sustainable Development Goals Achievement Program: A Closer Look

Digging deeper into the numbers, official statistics confirm that around 35% of the entire PSDP expenditures go towards SAP yet it constitutes just about 9.5% of the whole budget. The uneven distribution prompts suspicion of the efficiency that is observed in this use for the said purposes. However, important sectors like the National Highway Authority and power companies are at a snail’s pace to use up all their allocated budget for this year exposing more bad governance in resource management.

Sector-wise Analysis of Expenditure

Disparities are underlined in a sector-wise breakdown e.g. only the Railway Division exceeded the one billion rupees benchmark with regard to its expenditure while the Higher Education Commission and the Ministry of Housing and Work departments struggled with the efficient utilization of their respective funds throughout the year. Other ministries also could not exceed 530 million rupees of development utilization. This shows that there was an urgent requirement for a thorough investigation of the disbursement system and prudent budgetary administration in the country.

Disbursement Mechanism and Recommendations

Payment Mechanisms aimed at balancing development release into question as to their efficacy. The government should put in more checks and balances since it authorized Rs 301 billion to cover ministry divisions, NHA, and power companies among others. Disbursement Mechanisms are to be devised, and payout methods are to be reconsidered, including revising the disbursement system and enacting strict rules to avoid politicizing public funding.

Over spending on schemes for Pakistan parliamentarians is a serious challenge for equitable use of resources, as well as prudent rule in the country. Rather, it becomes a question of political gains, particularly for an election year; yet, this works against critical infrastructure development and aggravates the economy. The regulatory bodies like the Election Commission of Pakistan need urgent action against the misuse of public funds and the government should spend this money on the actual requirements of the people. The only way out of these economic challenges for Pakistan is by adhering to responsible and transparent fiscal management to ensure a solid foundation is laid for a prosperous country.

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