LAHORE: The Punjab Finance Department has released Rs221 billion funds for development activities across Punjab for the first quarter of this fiscal year.

As per the details shared by the department here on Monday, this year’s releases are almost double to the funds released last year during the first quarter which stood at Rs135 billion. All funds were released in a timely manner after completing all financial scrutiny as per rules, and in consultation with the Planning and Development Board.

While commenting on the release of funds, Punjab Finance Secretary Iftikhar Ali Sahoo said that the finance department is working closely with the Planning and Development Board for prompt releases of newly-approved development projects, he added, and that 100 percent allocation for all ongoing projects (Rs144 billion) was released on July 1.

According to him, the Department being the custodian of the provincial exchequer has an overall responsibility to make critical scrutiny of financial proposals with reference to need and cost-effectiveness and budget allocations.

The department makes sure that all development projects receive funds on time and a due process is being followed for all this. It is pertinent to mention here that development allocations of the provincial budget for FY 2021-22 was increased by 66 percent to Rs560 billion from last year’s Rs337 billion with a special focus on social sector and infrastructure development which claims 63 percent of the Annual Development Programme 2021-22.