KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah called has called for new National Finance Commission (NFC) award, which he said should be updated after every five years.

Addressing a post-budget press conference at the Sindh Assembly on Saturday, he said that the province’s total budget is Rs3.056 trillion.

He stressed the need for the federal government treats Sindh as an essential part of Pakistan and ensures that it receives necessary development initiatives.

Time to revisit the NFC Award

He affirmed a dedication to finishing development projects and emphasised that the upcoming year would focus on growth while still attending to ongoing projects.

Shah unveiled the province’s budget for the fiscal year 2024-25, totalling Rs 3.056 trillion. He said the development budget allocates Rs 959 billion, with a focus on completing ongoing schemes. He said the budget prioritises salaries, with a minimum salary of Rs 37,000 for government employees and a 30% increase for grades 1-6, 25% for grades 7-16, and 22% for grades 17-22. The development budget includes Rs 493.092 billion for provincial ADP, Rs 55 billion for district ADP, Rs 334 billion for FPA, and Rs 76.971 billion for federal ADP.

Shah criticized the previous caretaker government for halting development schemes and urged the federal government to consider Sindh’s needs. He highlighted the province’s efforts in education, police recruitment, and job creation, emphasising merit-based hiring.

Chief Minister also mentioned the need for a new National Finance Commission (NFC) award, which should be formed every 5 years according to the constitution. He; however, extended support for the federal government, despite differences with the PML-N. He also spoke about the impact of natural calamities, rains, and floods on the province.

“The federal government has allocated Rs25 billion for the K-IV project, while the Sindh government will contribute Rs170 billion from its own funds,” he said, noting that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has assured that the release of the funds will be approved by June 17..

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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