Water resources allocation may down next fiscal year
STAFF REPORT IBD: Funds for developing the all-important water resources have shrunk to about 13 per cent of total development budget for 2012-13 and this comes at a time when the country is going to enter the ranks of water-scarce countries with a significant gap between demand and supply.
According to statistics, over the past five years, allocation for water resources has remained between 16 per cent and 20 per cent of the development budget, but for upcoming fiscal year 2012-13 the allocation has dropped to about 13 per cent or Rs47.2 billion.
“The issues in the water sector have continued to badly affect the progress of agricultural sector and the country appears to have missed the fund utilisation target for the ongoing financial year. The implementation of all development programmes has remained slow and it is expected that by the end of June, Rs30 billion will be released and utilised for water projects,” reveals the Annual Plan 2012-13.
The countrys water storage capacity is inadequate and it has only two major reservoirs – Tarbela and Mangla – where water has touched the dead level in recent months, making it impossible to meet water needs of provinces.