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KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah presided over a meeting to review development portfolio of three departments i.e. Culture, Home and Industries, worth Rs24.812 billion against which the government has released Rs10.646 billion, and directed them to complete their fast-track uplift schemes by the end of May 2021 so that they could be removed from the budget book in the next financial year.

The meeting was held here at CM House on Thursday. Chairman P&D Mohammad Waseem briefed the chief minister about the portfolios of the departments. Minister Culture Syed Sardar Shah, Minister Industries Jam Ikram, IG Police Mushtaq Maher, PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro, ACS Home Usman Chachar, Secretary Culture Akbar Leghari, Secretary Industries Riaz Qureshi, Member P&D Fatah Tunio and others attended the meeting.

The chief minister said that despite financial constraints he managed funds for development schemes, therefore, concerned departments must focus on their uplift works. “I want you to give priority to their fast-track schemes so that they could be completed during the current financial year and the remaining schemes would be provided ample funds in the next financial year for their completion,” he directed the head of the departments.

Culture dept: The Culture department has 44 on-going schemes of Rs7514.777 million against which Rs3733.877 million have been utilized and throw-forward stands at Rs3780.9 million. The important schemes launched by the department include Rs800 million Sindh Indigenous Traditional Crafts Company (SITCO), Development of Summer Resort at Gorakh Hill Station for Rs3 billion, Improvement of existing Motels/Resorts at Sehwan, Thatta and Umerkot for Rs635.1 billion, Preservation of Retaining wall and dangerous structures of Pucca Fort for Rs408.7 million, Provision of missing facilities at kasha Institute and restoration of of Dabgeer Mosque at Thatta for Rs297.4 million, Improvement of Sambara Inn Larkana for Rs147.8 million. Establishment of Museum & Research Centre and Rest House at archaeological Site at Chanhiyo-jo-Daro Nawabshah for Rs246 million, provision of missing allied facilities to Motel Hawksbay for Rs40 million, Improvement of Motel and Information Centre Moen-jo-Daro for Rs40 million, provision of missing facilities to different cultural complexes in different districts.

The chief minister said that his record showed that six schemes with an allocation of Rs76 million for 2020-21 have 63 percent expenditures of the released amount. The other four schemes with allocation of Rs177 million have 65 percent utilization of their releases, 34 schemes with a current allocation of Rs587.3 million have 62 percent utilization of the releases. “Funds are available for these schemes and their progress is also not bad but a little focus of the minister is required to complete them by the end of current financial year,” he said and directed Minister Culture Syed Sardar Shah to visit the on-going schemes and keep them reviewing for their timely completion.

Home dept: The chief minister was told that the Home department has 49 schemes, including seven on-going worth Rs13136.941 million against which the government has released Rs5546.174 million and the throw-forward was Rs7590.767 million. Some of the important schemes of Home department, Sindh Police include construction of police stations at Karachi, Hyderabad, Sujawal, Dadu, Thatta, Matiari, Shaheed Benazirabad, Kambar and Sukkur for Rs642 million and the government has released Rs479.8 million, including Rs3.750 million upto March 2020. The chief minister said that only Rs2.5 million have been utilised which showed that the work was slow. He directed IG Police to personally visit the site and expedite their construction.

Establishment of Traffic Police Headquarter, Chowkundi Karachi for Rs78 million but only Rs3.750 million have been utilised against a release of Rs5.6 million. Shah said that the Traffic police was badly in need of a headquarter and the work on this scheme must be completed during the next financial year.

The other important schemes are establishment of license branch at Saudabad police line for Rs65.5 million, construction of special Investigation Complex in Karachi for Rs134.5 million, construction of 11 police stations in Jacobabad district for Rs340.3 million, construction of Malkahan at City Court for Rs29 million, Rehabilitation of burnt Malkhana at City Court for Rs23.9 million, construction of 259 Reporting Rooms all over Sindh for Rs44 million. Extension of District jail Malir for 1000 prisoners for Rs359.9 million, improvement and strengthening of security of central prisons of Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur for Rs1.4 billion, installation of mobile jammers at different jails for Rs88 million.

The chief minister said his record showed that eight schemes of the Home department worth Rs88.277 million have been provided Rs63.36 million against which utilisation of the released amount was only 39 percent. He added that 33 schemes of Rs512.773 million were released funds of Rs339.194 and utilisation of their released funds were 71 percent. He directed ACS Home, Usman Chachar to complete 33 schemes which have a progress of 71 percent. The CM said that 42 schemes of Rs651 million have been provided Rs452.4 million against which utilisation of the released funds was only 58 percent. “This needs to be expedited,” he said.

Industries dept: The chief minister was told that the Industries department has launched 11 schemes, of them nine worth Rs597.25 million were on-going and two of Rs38.75 million are new.

The important schemes of the Industries department include Rs86.6 million Improvement of Infrastructure of Small Industrial Estate Larkana, Rs2.1 billion Infrastructure Development of Industrial Estate Larkana. It has also three schemes of establishment of combined Effluent Plant at SITE, Kotri for Rs399 million, Nooriabad for Rs443.3 million, Hyderabad Rs450 million, Sukkur Rs325 million, and Pre-sediment plant SITE Kotri for Rs80.2 million. The industries department has also an important scheme of establishment of Museum of Antique Printing and Allied Machines in Sindh government Press, Karachi for Rs41.4 million.

Murad Ali Shah said that nine schemes of Industries department worth Rs597.25 million have been released Rs360.241 million against which utilisation have been recorded at Rs228.371 million which showed 63 percent utilisation of the releases. “You have ample funds and expedite their utilisation before the end of the current financial year,” he concluded.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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