AJK and Gilgit Baltistan will receive funds under Public Sector Development Program in 2022-2023
Claims that AJK and Gilgit Baltistan will not receive funding are false, they will receive PKR 52.6 billion under PSDP according to draft budget document
Claim: The current PMLN-led coalition government has not allocated any funds to the Kashmir Affairs & Gilgit Baltistan Division under the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for the 2022-2023 financial year.
Fact: Gilgit Baltistan & Azad Jammu & Kashmir (also known as Pakistan-administered Kashmir) will receive a combined total of PKR 52.6 billion under the PSDP for the 2022-2023 financial year.
On 14 June 2022, Twitter user @TeamiPrts posted an image with a graphic purporting that the current PML-N led coalition government has not allocated any funds to the Kashmir Affairs & Gilgit Baltistan Division under the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for the 2022-2023 financial year, while the former PTI government under Imran Khan allocated PKR 69.69 billion to the Division in the 2021-2022 financial year.
Fact or Fiction?
According to documents available on the Planning Commission of Pakistan’s official website, the PSDP allocation for the Kashmir Affairs & Gilgit Baltistan Division in 2021-2022 was PKR 69.96 billion.
However, the claim that no PSDP funds have been allocated to the Division for 2022-2023 is false. Planning Commission official Inayatullah Qureshi provided Soch Fact Check the pages from the 2022-2023 PSDP budget allocation document — to be confirmed after 30 June 2022 once Parliament has approved it — corresponding to the Kashmir Affairs & Gilgit Baltistan Division.
According to the document, a combined total of PKR 52.645 billion of PSDP funds will be allocated to Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir; PKR 23.195 billion for Gilgit Baltistan and PKR 29.45 billion for Azad Jammu & Kashmir.
This confirms that the claim circulating online regarding the PSDP budget allocation is false. Although there appears to be a PKR 17.05 billion reduction in the budget allocation for Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan in comparison with 2021-2022, the allocation for 2022-2023 is certainly not zero.
Planning Commission officials told Profit Magazine that some projects announced by the previous government with regard to AJK and Gilgit Baltistan, will not be continued due to budget cuts and a lack of finances. The total PSDP budget for 2022-2023 is PKR 800 billion, of which the government has earmarked PKR 433 billion for infrastructure, including PKR 84 billion for energy, PKR 227 billion for transport and communication, PKR 83 billion for water and PKR 39 billion for the Physical Planning and Housing sector.
The original post had 1,179 Twitter interactions including Retweets, Likes and Quote Tweets. It was shared by PTI activists such as Shahbaz Gill, Maleeha Hashmy and former Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri which collectively made the tweet reach 5.4 million Twitter users.
Shahbaz Gill’s reply reached 143,833 followers in the last 7 days, Qasim Khan Suri’s reply reached 1,578,000 followers and Maleeh Hashmy’s reply reached 59,411 followers.
We found that this tweet was made viral primarily by accounts with over 500,000 followers engaging with the tweet and promoting it on their timelines.
Conclusion: The claim that the new PMLN-led coalition government has allocated no PSDP funds to the Kashmir Affairs & Gilgit Baltistan Division for the 2022-2023 financial year is false. According to draft documents made available to Soch Fact Check by a Planning Commission official, the government will allocate a combined total of PKR 52.645 billion under the PSDP to Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan in 2022-2023.