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CM Murad Shah presented Rs1.043 trillion deficit budget

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KARACHI (June 5): Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah as a chief minister presented his maiden Rs1,043,185,600,000 deficit budget for fiscal 2017-18 in the Sindh Assembly amid clapping of the treasury benches.

The total size of the budget is Rs1,043,185,600,000. The total receipts includes Rs627.3 billion federal transfers, Rs199.626 billion provincial receipts, Rs57.514 billion capital receipts; Rs70.067 billion others and Rs74.349 billion net public accounts and carry over plus miscellaneous come to Rs1028.865 billion. Against which the expenditures have been estimated of Rs1043.185 billion which include current expenditures Rs666.474 billion, current capital expenditures Rs32.643 billion and development Rs344.067 billion. This shows a deficit of Rs14.32 billion.

The chief minister in his speech highlighted the achievements of his government in social sectors and fiscal management.

He said that the Federal Government is the major contributor to Sindh’s finances comprising of 75 percent in its entirety. He added that these shares inevitably fall short of the estimates we provide every year. As a result, there is ambivalence and inconsistency in achieving our outlined targets.

He urged the federal government to ensure that Sindh is given its fair share of resources in a timely and efficient manner. “The failure of the federal government to grant the 9th NFC award yet again is proof of the inefficiencies plaguing the system at such a high level,” he said.

Revised budget 2016-17

The chief minister giving details of revised budget, 2016-17 said that against an estimated budgetary amount of Rs854.5 billion, the revised receipts of the Province stand at Rs 873.9 billion. “We are facing a shortfall on account of Federal Transfers,” he said and added during 10 months of this financial year against budgeted receipts of 477 billion, we have only received 419 billion. “Based on these figures, we will be facing a shortfall of Rs70 billion at the end of this financial year,” the chief minister pointed out.

He said that the receipts of Federal PSDP are revised to Rs 5.9 billion from Rs 12.2 billion; whereas revised Foreign Project Assistance stands at Rs23.04 billion. We were largely able to achieve our provincial tax receipt targets. The Sindh Revenue Board and Excise, Taxation & Narcotics Control Department were able to achieve their tax targets. However, non-tax receipts targets were compromised due to fewer land transactions during current financial year. The provincial tax and non-tax receipt is revised to Rs159.29 billion against an estimated target of PKR 166.03 billion.

EXPENDITURE SIDE: The chief minister talking about expenditure side said, the budget has been revised from Rs 869.11 billion to Rs 866.95 billion. The current expenditure has been revised to Rs 606.96 billion from Rs 572.76 billion. The increase is primarily because of the outside supplementary budgetary allocation of Rs 25 billion made on account of settlement of longstanding electricity dues. “We had undertaken a comprehensive reconciliation exercise of electricity dues and as a result of our diligent efforts only Rs 27 billion were payable against a demand of Rs 55 billion,” he told the house.

The development expenditure is revised at Rs 210.5 billion against an estimated allocation of Rs225 billion. He said that the current financial year recorded the highest utilization of development funds. “By the end of current financial year, we will be able to spend 88 percent of the development budget that is 20 percent higher than last Financial year,” he said.

Budget estimates for 2017-18:

Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah giving budget estimates said that the total receipts for fiscal 2017-18 are estimated at Rs1.02 trillion against an estimated expenditure of Rs 1.04 trillion. Receipt estimate reflect an increase of 19.3 percent over budget estimate of Rs 854.5 billion for Current Financial Year. Receipts from Federal Government on account of revenue assignment, straight transfer and grants are estimated at Rs627.3 billion. Receipts from Federal government are 61.5 percent of the total receipts of the Province.

He said that the receipts of Federal PSDP are estimated at Rs27.3 billion. Receipts on account of Foreign Project Assistance (FPA), budgetary support loans and grants are estimated at Rs 42.7 billion. Receipts from provincial own sources, including tax and non-tax receipts are estimated at Rs 199 billion. The targets of provincial own sources have been increased by 16.5 percent.

On the expenditure side, he said the outlay of budget is estimated at Rs 1.04 trillion as against budget estimate of Rs 869.11 billion, reflecting an increase of 19.6 percent. The current expenditure, including Current Revenue Expenditure of Rs666.47 billion and Current Capital Expenditure of Rs 32.64 billion stands at Rs 699.11 billion. He pointed out that for next financial year, Current Expenditure constitutes 68.2 percent of the total provincial budget reflecting an increase of 14 percent over estimates of Rs572.7 billion.

Talking about estimates of development expenditure for Financial Year 2017-18, the chief minister said they are pitched at Rs274 billion.

Murad Ali Shah said that during PPP government tenure, w appointments have been made need basis while ensuring meritocracy. For next financial year, “we have created around 49000 posts,” he announced and went on saying the major impact is on the already employed but abandoned Lady Health Workers. Over 25000 employees of Lady Health Workers program will be incorporated in service of Sindh. Besides, 10000 personnel would be recruited in Sindh Police.

Education:Syed Murad Ali Shah said that his government has allocated the highest percentage of resources towards education in the year 2017-18. It will see an increase of 24 percent over allocation of current financial year. For the next financial year, “we propose to enhance the budget for education to Rs202.2 billion from Rs163.12 billion. Grants for universities and education institutions have been kept at Rs5 billion,” he announced.

He said during the current financial year, the government had allocated Rs17.230 billion for ADP of education sector. Some 48 important development schemes have been completed during the fiscal 2016-17.

He said major interventions are expected to complete during next financial year. They include establishment of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Sakrand, at Shaheed Benazirabad at a cost of Rs1.1 billion. Quaid-e-Awam University of Engineering Science & Technology, Constituent College/ Campus at Larkana at a cost of Rs 2.6 billion. Development of Department of Food Engineering and ancillary Infrastructure at NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi.

Talking about important schemes will be rolled out for next financial year are rehabilitation of Existing Infrastructure and Development of Basic Facilities at the University of Sindh Jamshoro at a cost of Rs 151 million. Rs 120 million have been allocated for Strengthening of Key Science Laboratories in Government High Schools at Taluka Level across the Province. Strengthening of Infrastructure Phase-I (Replacement of Water & Sewerage Networks) at University of Karachi for Rs129 million and Rs 131 million for development of Dawood University of Engineering & Technology (DUET) Karachi.

Reward For A-graders: Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that it is very important to recognize the efforts of hardworking students. “From next financial year, we are introducing a reward system whereby Rs100,000/- would be given to each student who is able to secure A-1 in Intermediate and Matriculation exams,” he said and added “Rs 750 million have been earmarked for the said purpose in the next financial year”.

He said that his government is creating endowment fund for Colleges and Universities for which Rs1 billion has been kept for 2017-18. The fund is aimed at providing financial assistance to students.

Free Exam, Enrolment: He said Rs1 billion has been kept for free registration and board examinations at all levels of education for students of public sector institutions. This intervention will serve as an incentive for students to appear in board exams and it will also improve the enrolment in public sector institutions.

Sindh education Foundation: The Foundation is serving almost 500,000 students in 2100 schools all over Sindh. For next year, there is a plan to increase its outreach to 650,000 students through a network over 2400 schools. The Foundation has enhanced the number of schools and students at post primary level. Around 80,000 students of 400 elementary and secondary schools are being served.

For next year, the government has allocated Rs8.08 billion for the foundation, it is an increase of 7percent over allocation of current financial year. In 2017-18 Sindh Education Foundation Complex would be start for Rs145 million.

Health: The chief minister said that the health remains a priority sector and resource allocation for the sector keeps on expanding. For the next financial year, an allocation of Rs100.32 billion is proposed as against an allocation of Rs79.88 billion during 2016-17. The ADP of health is pitched at Rs15.50 billion compared to allocation of Rs 14 billion for Current Financial Year. The next financial year will witness an increase of 26 percent in total allocation for Health Sector.

 

Law & order:

He said his government has also given top priority to law and order. In terms of resource allocation, the share of Home Department, including police, jails, rangers and other LEAs – is the second largest. Budgetary allocation for next financial is proposed at Rs92.91 billion which reflects an increase of 10 percent over allocation of Rs 84.26 billion during current financial year.

He said that the recognize the sacrifices made by our brave and selfless security personnel. As a token of gratitudes the government has disbursed Rs1000 million as compensation amongst the families of Shaheeds and injured personnel. He added that Pakistan Army has imparted training to 3000 newly recruited policemen for which Rs300 million has been utilized. 18,163 police personnel have been recruited through NTS. 12 facilitation centers are being established at Divisional level. He added these centers would assist a common man for issuance of character certificates, reporting of loss of valuable items, reporting of complaints, reporting on missing children, domestic violence, vehicle theft etc. Rs 2 billion were provided to Sindh Police for purchase of new vehicles, including 494 police mobiles and 351 motorcycles. Sindh Rangers was provided Rs 175 million for purchase of new vehicles.

Proposal for 2017-18: He said 10000 new posts of different ranks are proposed for Sindh Police. Rs2 billion have been allocated for purchase of transport for Sindh Police. Forensic Lab would be established for Rs2.6 billion to solve complex crimes. Rs280 million has been allocated for establishment of Intelligence School and Data Center for the police. Some 3000 posts are proposed for security of CPEC related projects. 1000 more personnel would be inducted in Special Security Unit (SSU) to enhance its capacity. Rs2 billion are proposed for procurement of security related equipment, including hi-tech precision arsenal. A feasibility study of Rs200 million would be conducted to install security cameras in major cities.

The chief minister said that it is high time to convert traditional prisons in correctional facilities. He added that for next financial year, budget of prisons is being enhanced to Rs 4 billion. This reflects an increase of 19 percent over the allocation for this financial year and Rs195 million are earmarked for installation of CCTV cameras in various prisons of Sindh.

ENERGY:Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that during 2016-17 the major achievements in energy sector include establishment of 100 MW Sindh Nooriabad Power Company established through Public Private Partnership. He proudly said the plant is fully functional and contributing to mitigate power shortages of Karachi. Sindh Transmission & Dispatch Company (STDC) has been established. This is the 1st ever transmission line established by any provincial government. 132 KV Double Circuit from Nooriabad to Karachi has been successfully laid for Rs 1.95 billion to supply 100 MW to K-Electric. 477 MW of Wind Power has been added to the national grid. Total installed capacity of wind power projects now stands at 785 MW. It will be enhanced to 1085 MW in next financial year.

He added that as per agreement with HESCO and SEPCO outstanding liabilities amounting to Rs 27.4 billion have been cleared. Outstanding liabilities of K-E of Rs13 billion have been cleared. He also said Keti Bandar port and Power Park has been included in CPEC. Detailed bankable feasibility is underway.

The chief minister said, the current monthly average billing of Rs1.1 billion are being disbursed regularly amongst DISCOs. 6907 villages were electrified within two DISCOs (HESCO & SEPCO) and K-Electric at a cost of Rs.8479.084 millions. Electrification of 1170 villages is under progress at Rs.5994.346 million. For the next financial year, Rs15 billion have been kept for payment electricity dues of K-E, HESCO and SEPCO.

 

The chief minister said that Thar coal project at Block-II is on schedule and the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) has removed 35 percent over burden from the coal mine. The company is now working to expand the coal mine to 22 MTPA and generate 2600 MW by the year 2021. To support Thar coal infrastructure, a new four lane bridge over river Indus has been completed in a record period of 18 months near Thatta-Sujawal. Some major initiatives that are near completion, in Thar region, are construction of Rs 16.5 billion road network for movement of heavy machinery from Thatta to Thar Coalfields. Rs 6.7 billion effluent and mine water disposal system would be completed shortly. Provision of water to power plants at Thar from LBOD for Rs845.59 million and construction of airport at Islamkot for Rs 1.5 billion.

ALTERNATE ENERGY: He also talked about alternate energy in which some important have been approved which include establishment of 35 wind power plants for 2685 MW power generation under IPP mode. 24 solar power plants of 1500 MW under IPP mode. Two 24MW run of the river power generation projects. He added that he has allocated 18251 acres of land to 18 wind power projects and 15 solar power projects 33 renewable energy power projects in Renewable Energy Parks of Sindh.

ELECTRIFICATION INITITIVES FOR 2017-18: Murad Ali Shah said electrification of 285 Primary Health Facilities situated at Tharparkar, Shaheed Benzairabad, Umerkot, Sanghar, Kashmore and Kambar districts through 352 Solar Photovoltaic schemes for Rs 454 million have been taken up. Provision of 213 domestic biogas plants to be provided to potential users at Mirpurkhas, Badin, Sanghar and rural areas of Karachi division. Rs13 billion World Bank Funded ‘Sindh Renewable Energy Development Project’ would be rolled out during next financial year. The Sindh government share in the project is Rs 2.6 billion. Through the project programs of Off-Grid Village Electrification, Urban Rooftop PV and Solar PV Demonstration power Plant would be established. Rs 500 Million will be provided for this project.

ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE:

Chief Minister Murad Shah said that during 2016-17, the government has planned to add 519 km to the road network and to improve 540 km of existing roads. “I am pleased to announced that the targets for current financial year would be timely achieved. For the next financial year, we have increased ADP allocation for road sector to Rs25.77 billion from Rs 13.54 billion and an amount of Rs 5 billion are kept for maintenance of road infrastructure.

The road schemes completed during 2016-17 are Rs 2.36 billion reconditioning of road from Shaheed Benazirabad to Sanghar. Rs 2.13 billion widening of 12 km Dual Carriageway Road from Quaidabad to Steel Mill. Rs 855.47 million rehabilitation of 13 km dual carriageway from Steel Mill to Ghaghar Phatak. Construction of overhead bridge on Railway line near Sabzi Mandi, Shaheed Benazirabad for Rs 252.9 million.

He added that 41 important road sectors schemes have been prioritized to be completed by December 2017.

Local Govt: The chief minister said that during the current financial year, Rs 60 billion are earmarked for local councils in Sindh. For the next financial year, we propose an allocation of Rs71 billion, including Rs5 billion for development schemes to be undertaken by Local Councils. Distribution mechanism amongst local councils would be determined by the Provincial Finance Commission which has started its deliberation on a resource sharing formula.

He said another important proposal being considered is devolution of collection of Urban Immovable Property Tax. The devolution of collection of taxes at the appropriate levels increases efficiency and transparency. At present, the collection of Rs2 billion in lieu Urban Immovable Property Tax is dismally low and has a huge potential.

He added that two districts of Karachi have been contracted out for collection and disposal of Solid Waste for Rs1.25 billion. Murad Ali Shah said that government has allocated Rs5.5 billion for Sindh Solid Waste Management Board which is in addition to Rs71 billion earmarked for Local Councils.

The chief minister said that development Portfolio of Local government department for 2016-17 was Rs 20.73 billion for 422 development schemes. Out of the total allocation, Rs 16.271 billion was allocated for 409 (230 On-going + 179 New) schemes of Local Government wing. Rs2.0 billion for New Scheme for Improvement of major cities and towns, Rs2.460 billion for 12 Schemes of Solid Waste Management. For next financial year, the government has earmarked Rs28.78 billion for 411 development schemes of Local Government Department.

Talking about Greater Karachi Water Supply Project (K-IV) and Greater Karachi Sewerage Project (S-III), the chief minister said they are extremely important projects for development of Karachi. “The Federal Government has committed Rs9.95 billion for the project, the Sindh government would provide Rs6.4 billion for timely completion of the project. Similarly, for S-III the government has allocated an amount of PKR 1.5 billion.

KARACHI PACKAGE: Murad Ali Shah said Karachi, being the largest and most ignored by those who claim it, has been our focus. “We had inherited a ravished, dilapidated, unplanned and ruined Karachi,” he said and added with his sustained efforts, Karachi is now more peaceful and livable.

Murad Shah said during the next financial year, 2017-18 major schemes would be completed. They are construction of University Road from NED University to Safoora Chowk for Rs770 million. Reconstruction of Mosamiyat Road from Madras Chowk to Super Highway for Rs200 million. Widening of Shahrah-e-Faisal on both sides from Metropole to Star Gate at a cost of PKRs 850 million. Construction of Underpass at Submarine Chowrangi for Rs 500 million.

The chief minister said that in the next financial the new schemes to be taken up include the Rs10.5 billion World Bank funded Karachi Neighborhood Improvement Project. Under the project infrastructure would developed in old city area of South, Malir and Korangi. Rs1.2 billion for construction of 24 Feet wide road at either sides of Gujjar Nala. Construction of new 1000 MDG pump house at Dhabeji for Rs 1.6 billion. Supply of 65 MDG additional water from Haleji Lake to Karachi. Rs1.4 billion for ‘Establishment of Five Combined Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) for Industrial areas of Karachi’. Rs500 million for establishment of new land fill site for Karachi at Dhabeji. Rs 1.5 billion for Construction of Bridge at Tipu Sultan and Khalid Bin Waleed intersection at Shaheed-e-Millat Road. Remodeling of 12000 Road Landhi, Korangi for Rs 1.5 billion.

To promote ease of doing business these Development Management Committees will carry out development and rehabilitation of infrastructure of Industrial Areas of Karachi. Rs 1.65 billion have been provided.

Hyderabad Division: It consists of Hyderabad, Tando Allahyar, Tando Muhammad Khan, Thatta, Sujawal, Matiari, Badin, Dadu and Jamshoro. The Chief minister said that Rs37.13 billion have been allocated for development of Hyderabad Division.

Talking about next financial year, the chief minister highlighted the schemes to be taken up are upgradation of Sewerage System, Qasimabad. Phase II would be completed for Rs1.2 billion and Phase III of Rs1.9 billion would be launched.  Construction of New 100 MGD water filter plant for Hyderabad for Rs 1.3 billion. Establishment of three Garbage Transfer Stations in Hyderabad for Rs226 million. Widening of 38 km road from Tando Allahyar Bypass to Jhando Mari Rs183 million. Dualization of 24 km Tando Allahyar Byepass Road at a cost of Rs 275 million. Establishment of 30 Bedded Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Liaquat University Hospital, Hyderabad for Rs50 million. Rs50 million for Remaining Work of Waste Water Stabilization Treatment Ponds at Qasimabad. Improvement of Drainage System along with water supply Lines for Kotri for Rs50 million and widening of 32 km road from Badin Serani to Bhugra Memon for Rs 125 million.

MIRPURKHAS DIVISION: The four districts of Mirpukhas Division, Mirpukhas, Tharparkar and Umerkot will be provided Rs 18.72 billion through ADP. The chief minister said the division remained a high priority area in recent years because of drought like situation and Thar Coal Fields. Some of important schemes that would be initiated during next financial year are construction of Dams / Reservoirs of Rainy Water in Natural Flows of Hills in Taluka Nagarparkar for Rs 50 million. Construction of Mirch Mandi at Kunri forRs 55 million. Construction of six road bridges in different villages alongwith DPOD, KPOD and LBOD Spinal Drain along Dhoro-Purean for Rs 100 million. C.C. Lining of Naukot Branch Canal System and Akuto Distry of Mithrao Division at a cost of Rs 100 million.

SHAHEED BENAZIRABAD DIVISION: This Division consists of Shaheed Benazirabad, Sanghar and Naushero Feroze. The ADP for 2017-18 for the Division is pitched at Rs 15.59 billion. The important schemes are Rs100 million Integrated Municipal Solid Waste Management Project Nawabshah. Rs98 million improvement of road from Nawabshah to Buchery Chowdagi. Rs86 million construction of road from Malook Shar-Sachal Khaskheli to Choondiko-Sanghar at a cost of PKR 86 million. Rs120 million for provision of sewerage and water supply lines in PS 24, Nawabshah. Rs78 million for Improvement & Extension of Drainage Scheme, Khipro. Upgradation of Kazi Ahmed RHC to THQ at a cost of 62 million and up gradation of RHCs to THQ Hospitals at Bhirya, Mehrabpur and Kandiaro for Rs 187 million.

LARKANA DIVISION: It consists of districts Larkana, Kamber-Shahdadkot, Jacobabad, Shikarpur and Kashmore. The chief minister said that Rs 18.15 billion have been allocated for development works in the Division. They are Rs 1.4 billion for Larkana Drainage Scheme. Rs 506 million for Shikarpur Drainage Scheme. Rs83 m improvement of 15 km road from Kamber to Dost Ali. Rs52 million Improvement of 20 km road from Jumo Agham to Wassayo Bhutto. Widening of 24 km Jacobabad –Dodapur- Garhi Khairo road at a cost of 251 million Improvement of Water Supply Scheme, Kandhkot for Rs 75 million. Rs 75 million for improvement of Water Supply Scheme, Warah. Rs62 million for Construction of B-Tech Section at Government College of Technology, Larkana. Construction of Staff Nursing Hostel, new Operation Theatre (eye) and strengthening of Trauma Centre at CMCH, Larkana at a cost of Rs 50 million.

SUKKUR DIVISION: Sukkur Division comprises of three districts Sukkur, Ghotki and Khairpur. Murad Ali Shah said for 2017-18 Rs 14.52 billion has been earmarked for development schemes in Sukkur Division. The important schemes are Rs222 million upgradation of Government College of Technology into University of Technology & Skill Development at Khairpur. 35 km Reconditioning of road from New Indus Highway Bridge at Razidero to Khan Wahan for Rs 83 million. Provision for missing facilities in Burns Unit at Khairpur Medical College Hospital Khairpur for Rs 50 million. Rs 100 million for Provision of Cath. Lab at Khairpur Medical College Hospital. Additional Lining of Watercourses falling in jurisdiction of Pano Akil, Sukkur for Rs 81 million.

TRANSPORT: Murad Ali Shah said that the rehabilitation of Karachi Circular Railway has been included in the CPEC for $2.4 billion. For 2016-17, Rs241 million have been allocated for Construction of Boundary Fencing along the existing alignment of the Karachi Circular Railway.

He said in 2017-18 for Green Line BRTS Bus operation and fare collection ‘integrated intelligent ticketing system’ would be outsourced through PPP mode. Orange Line BRTS would be completed by September 2017. A 22-km Asian Development Bank assisted Red Line BRTS project is in the design phase. Yellow Line BRTS is a rolled-out project, China Urban Import and Export Corporation has secured the bid. Two  year ‘Transport Leasing Project’ has been initiated with Rs 2 billion. The project aims at providing locally assembled passenger buses to existing transporters through Sindh Modarba.

Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries:

For the next financial year, the chief minister proposed to increase allocation for agricultural sector from Rs 12.75 billion to Rs 14.13 billion.

Targets for agricultural sector for 2017-18: The chief minister said that the next targets are Assistance of Rs500 million for purchase of Wheel type tractors would be provided to farmers. 555 Agriculture Implements would be provided. Rs100 million for Provision of small Agriculture Power Tiller/ Paddy Reaper and Tillage equipment on subsidized cost. Rs100 million for provision of Power Drilling Rigs Machine on hire charges basis. Rs200 million for strengthening of capacity of staff of Agriculture Engineering. Provision of 141 Solar Pumps. Rs 75 million for Provision of Combined Harvester, wheat and paddy on 50 percent subsidy to farmers in Sindh. Two Controlled Atmospheric Store and two Hot Water Treatment Plant would be installed on farmers’ field under the subsidy scheme “Preservation and storage facility of fruit and vegetable through Hot Water Treatment and Controlled Atmospheric Store.

Livestock and Fisheries sector:  Syed Murad Ali Shah said apart from the ADP of Rs 1.7 billion, the government is launching a scheme primarily targeted to alleviate poverty through backyard dairy farming. He defined the dairy animals under this highly-subsidized Rs 1 billion program will be provided to women entrepreneurs through Sindh Microfinance Bank along with free livestock insurance coverage. The project will have a positive bearing on the dairy sector and will increase female participation in formal economy.

Irrigation: During 2016-17, Rs14 billion for development of Irrigation Sector, including ‘Water Sector Improvement Project (WSIP)’ and reconstruction projects of bunds and canals were launched.

Murad Shah counted his achievements such as strengthening 4,750 miles Canal Banks Strengthening, Re-sectioning of 2900 miles Canals, 460 miles stone Pitching along Canal Banks, construction of 6400 Modules, construction of 75 Bridges.

He said that World Bank funded two projects of Rs8.3 billion and Rs9.9 billion Sindh resilience Project for Strengthening Flood Embankments and Construction of Small Dams in Sindh would be launched in the next financial year.

Targets for 2016-17: The Chief Minister said that Rs40.4 billion have been allocated for irrigation sector for the schemes which are Rs15 billion lining of main Canals, Rs125 million C.C Lining along Mehrabpur Branch, Khuda Bux Minor and Langerji Minor.Rs200 million C.C Lining of Amerji Branch. Rs 263 million for improving Carrying Capacity of Discharge in NW Canal & Khirthar Branch. Rs125 million Solar Tubewells installation. Lining of Surhari, Brandi, Maldasi, Shahdadpur Minors and Ujjano,Lundo Distry for Rs 125 million. Construction of Regulator at Begari Canal at a cost of PKR 150 million. Rs 250 million emergent works in anticipation of Flood during monsoon season. Construction of T-Head Spurs, providing stone pitching and stone aprons along LS Bund Mile, Dadu for Rs 980 million and Rs 4.5 billion for Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Water Project for Thar.

He said the Right Bank Outfall Drain (RBOD) stretching from Sehwan to Arabian Sea is being executed by V-Corps Engineers. After completion of this project, a major important water reservoir Manchhar Lake would be protected from pollution. Environment, Forest and Wildlife: The Chief Minister called for protection of coastal regions. One aspect to address the issue is Mangrove forestation in those areas. Mangrove plantation on 37000 acres of Coastal land has been completed. In future years, we will intensify plantation efforts but will also ensure measures to protect the forested area. 6605 acres of land have so far been forested. Under the Green Pakistan Program, Sindh government would be contributing Rs448 million for revival of forestry resources and Rs65 million for revival of wildlife resources in Sindh, respectively.Women Development :Murad Ali Shah said that the allocation for Women Development Dept has been increased by 89 percent for next financial year. Chief Minister said that during next financial year a Women Development Complex at Karachi would be constructed for Rs 62.5 million.

Talking about Minorities Affairs department, the chief minister said that his government is increasing the budget by 58 percent. During the current financial year some schemes like renovation of Gauoshala at Pir Jo Goth, Khairpur would be completed for Rs 40 million. Marble flooring at SSD Dham Raharki Sahib Darbar, Ghotki would also be completed Rs 20 million.

WELFARE MEASURES: The chief minister said that Sindh Growth Strategy has been prepared in line with vision 2025. Previously, we have been taking steps to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals but now with a proper roadmap in shape of Growth Strategy the government would be able to achieve the broad objects of Vision 2025 and SDGs. At present, amongst other initiatives are three community development plans that are being implemented in Sindh.

He said a Rs3 billion Community Development Plan aimed at bridging the gaps in areas of Health, Education, Women Empowerment, Legal Aid, Water & Sanitation and Skill Development would be covered.

Union Council Based Poverty Reduction Plan. After the successful implementation of Rs2 billion first phase of the plan, the project has been extended for additional cost of Rs4.9 billion. The program aims to reduce poverty, improve the quality of life of poor and marginalized communities especially women, build capacity of households through social mobilization, asset creation, income generation and social protection.

Talking about European Union funded Sindh Union Council and Community Economic Strengthening Support (SUCCESS) he said it would replicate the UCBPRP in Tando Muhammad Khan, Sujawal, Matiari, Jamshoro, Tando Allahyar, Dadu, Kamber-Shahdadkot and Larkana. The objectives of this program is to reduce poverty in 216 deprived Union Councils of Sindh by empowering women and communities.

CASH TRANSFER SCHEME: Murad Ali Shah said that he is launching conditional cash transfer scheme to mitigate the effects of increasing prices of essential commodities and economic shocks. During the current financial year, Rs3.5 billion are being disbursed as conditional cash transfer amongst chronically poor that have been identified by Benazir Income Support Program. For the next fiscal, Rs3.5 billion would be disbursed.

PLAN TO REDUCE STUNTING: The Sindh government has launched a Rs 65 billion multi-sectoral plan to reduce stunting and malnutrition. “We have developed a holistic strategy to address the issue and have set tangible goals to achieve over next 5 years,” Murad Shah said.

GRANTS & SUBSIDIES: The Sindh government has contributed Rs2.6 billion as subsidy for reduction in price of urea and DAP. Through our sustained farmer friendly efforts Sindh has achieved bumper crop of wheat.

He added that Rs 2.1 billion has been provided as wheat subsidy. “We are in process of procuring 200,000 MT additional wheat from the growers during this financial years. For the next financial year R 5 billion for wheat subsidy has been allocated.

ACCIDENTAL INSURANCE SCHEME: He announced that the government has launched Universal Accident Insurance Scheme for which Rs 100,000 have been provided to relatives in case of accidental death.

HEALTH INSURANCE: The Sindh government is launching a Health Insurance Scheme for employees of Sindh Secretariat. Almost 10,000 employees of Sindh Secretariat and their families would benefit from the comprehensive insurance scheme. The government has earmarked Rs1 billion for the purpose. In coming years, the program will be replicated all across Sindh.

PAY & ALLOWANCE: The output of the government is directly related to the performance of every individual employee. Therefore, the chief minister said he was proposing 15 percent increase in their basic salary of all employees.

TAX FREE BUDGET: The chief minister said that he was not proposing any new tax. This is a tax-free budget. Only slight amendments are being introduced in Stamp Act, Registration Act and Sindh Sales Tax Act with the objective to improve tax net. For next financial year, there is a proposal to rationalize rate of Sindh Sales Tax on Telecom Services, and bring it at par with other provinces, by increasing it from 19 percent to 19.5 percent.  He added that telecom sector is already charging this amount from consumers. This will allow us to generate an additional amount of PKR 400 million.

Announcing concessional measures for next financial year, the chief minister said that the government is reducing Sindh Sales Tax on Travel Agents & Tour Operators from 10 percent to 8 percent. Proposed to reduce SST on services provided by specific class of indenters and Call Centers from 13 percent to 3 percent. Reduction of SST from 8 percent to 3 percent on the services of renting Immovable Property Services.

The chief minister told the house that Sindh Revenue Board would be able to achieve its collection target of Rs78 billion during CFY. For the next financial year target of Sindh Revenue Board is being enhanced to Rs100 billion as per the Sindh Tax Resource Mobilization Plan.

AGRICULTURE INCOME TAX: Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said at present collection on account of Agriculture Income Tax stands at Rs393 million. This tax has a lot of potential and can provide much needed fiscal space for development of Sindh. Hence, in consultation with leading agriculturists, farmers and parliamentarians, the target of Agriculture Income Tax has been increased to Rs 1 billion for next financial year.

REFORMS: Murad Ali Shah said that the Chief Minister’s Secretariat has adapted stern austerity measures. The revised estimates for CM Secretariat are pitched at Rs 750 million against an allocation Rs 2.1 billion. For next financial year, Rs 521 million have been allocated.

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