ISLAMABAD – In an attempt to minimise the budget deficit, Pakistan government has decided to cut funding for the nuclear power plants.

Funds allocated for Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), Gwadar schemes and water and power sectors will also be deducted.

Various government departments and ministries were faced with cuts between 20 per cent and 82 per cent for the fiscal year 2016-17, showed official documents of the Ministry of Planning and Development.

Among the worst-hit projects were two nuclear power plants, Gwadar projects, power generation, water reservoir schemes and allocations for terrorism-hit populations.

For the fiscal year 2016-17, parliament had approved Rs800 billion development budget, but the Planning Ministry and Finance Ministry sanctioned only Rs744 billion till the last day of the fiscal year. However, the actual spending is not known yet, as some projects may receive even less funding than their sanctioned budgets.

According to officials of the Ministry of Planning and Development, the main reason behind these radical cutbacks in development expenditures was the government’s desire to control budget deficit from slipping beyond the preceding year’s level.

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