- Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, who also holds portfolio of finance minister, starts budget speech amid ruckus from opposition
- Says provincial govt aims to create over 2,500 jobs in upcoming fiscal year
Sindh announced the budget for fiscal year 2021-22 with an estimated outlay of Rs1.48 trillion, with Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah's speech drowned in noise by opposition benches as the tradition to disrupt budget announcements continued.
The current expenditure of the province is estimated at Rs1.14 trillion, while the development component is projected to be Rs329 billion, which includes Rs222.5 billion of the provincial ADP, Rs30 billion for district ADP, foreign project assistance at Rs71 billion and Rs5.4 billion in Federal PSDP grants.
He said that in the upcoming fiscal year, the provincial government intends to create 2,600 jobs, and aims to complete 1,033 schemes.
The chief minister, who also holds the portfolio of Sindh finance minister, said the budget is ‘pro-people’, but the coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally altered way of life.
Talking about the health sector, CM Murad said funds to the tune of Rs24.7 billion have been allocated specifically to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. "Over 960 new posts will be created at different levels of health management," said Murad.
An amount of Rs18.3 billion has been proposed for the purchase of drugs and medicines while Rs2 billion is being allocated to purchase PCR testing kits.
Moving to education, CM Murad said this is the single most important factor that contributes to the development of a country. "The provincial government has allocated Rs277.5 billion, up from the current Rs244.5 billion. The provincial government has increase ADP allocation for education sector to Rs26 billion."
An amount of Rs1.2 billion has also been allocated for scholarships to students securing highest grades in SSC, HSC educational boards of Sindh, he said.
Hitting out at the federal government, he said that out of the total transfers of Rs760 billion, Sindh has actually received Rs617 billion to date.
Sindh government at loggerheads with federal
Earlier on Monday, CM Murad said the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)-led provincial government has been at loggerheads with the centre over federal transfers.
"We are facing a shortfall of Rs82 billion in federal transfers, therefore our entire budgetary commitments have been affected ," Murad had said in a presser.
The CM said that the FBR has shown a growth of 17% during the last three years, but the Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) has shown a growth of 21%. "Our growth rate is four percentage points higher than the FBR's," he said, adding that he was criticising the performance of the FBR because its failure to achieve targets affected the provincial share in the revenue.
Murad Ali Shah said that the Sindh government was told that it would be given Rs742 billion from divisible pool and straight transfers and we had framed our budget accordingly. At the end of day, the federal government revised Sindh government share from Rs742 billion to Rs680 billion that caused a Rs62 billion shortfall just in revision. He added that during the last 11 months, the Sindh government was faced with Rs82.5 billion shortfall of its share.