- Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah unveils Rs2.24tr budget aimed at ‘revitalising prosperity’
Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Murad Ali Shah on Saturday unveiled a Rs2.24-trillion budget for the province for fiscal year 2023-24 aimed at “revitalising prosperity”.
While announcing the budget, he notified a 35% increase in salaries of government employees of grades 1-16 and 30% increase in employees of grades 17-22. Moreover, he also announced 17.5% increase in pensions.
The minimum wage of the province has been raised to Rs33,750, he said.
He cited that the provincial government was determined to place Sindh on path of economic recovery.
“To achieve this, measures to mitigate and combat climate change are direly needed,” he said. “The government incorporated green and sustainable initiatives in its strategy.”
“The province saw massive development and stability in past 5 years. There was huge progress on social welfare and human development.”
He expressed optimism that the Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) will achieve its tax target by the end of ongoing fiscal year.
“We want an empowered, inclusive Sindh,” the CM said.
He recalled that Sindh combated flood menace that destroyed agriculture, land, livestock and homes.
He noted that the budget outlay of Rs2.237 trillion was 35% higher than previous fiscal year. He announced the development budget for 2023-24 is fixed at Rs410 billion.
“The government has earmarked Rs1,411 billion for current expenditure which is 17% higher than last year,” the CM said. “The increase came on the back of recruitment undertaken by the provincial government mainly in education sector.”
The government set aside Rs267.5 billion for school education, Rs228 billion for health and Rs143 billion for law and order.
In addition, 112 damaged schools would be rehabilitated on resilient and environmentally friendly fabricated structures in five districts for Rs3.01 billion under the Flood Restoration Programme and Sindh Development Through Enhanced Education Programme (DEEP).
Moreover, the local government budget will amount to Rs112 billion while Rs136 billion are fixed for capital expenditure due to interest payments.
The provincial government allocated Rs88 billion for investment, Rs26 billion for pensions and Rs701 billion for provincial development.
“The federal transfers will amount to Rs1.353 trillion,” the CM said. “The sales tax collection during 2023-24 will amount to Rs235 billion while Rs143 billion will be collected on account of excise and taxation.”
The non-tax revenue will stand at Rs32 billion while Rs21.9 billion will be received on account of Public Sector Development Programme, he said.
CM Murad announced an allocation of Rs63 billion to ensure a consistent supply of subsidised wheat to mills and affordable wheat flour to the public and a budgetary provision of Rs16.9 billion for the Poor Social Protection and Economic Sustainability Programme.
He further said that the transport budget has witnessed an impressive growth rate of 167.8% — rising from Rs5 billion to Rs13.4 billion.