Around Rs 850 billion Sindh budget today

WEB DESK: Sindh Minister for Finance Syed Murad Ali Shah likely to present around Rs 850 billion provincial fiscal budget for 2016-17 in the provincial assembly on Saturday. Its annual development outlay may stand at Rs 264 billion.

The provincial government may announce 10% to 20% increase in the salaries of the government employees in the upcoming budget. On Friday, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah presided over a meeting to review the budget 2016-17 with Secretary Finance Sohail Rajput giving a presentation to the ministers regarding allocations for various departments of the government.

The final approval of the budget would, however, be given by the cabinet before the Sindh Assembly session, which was summoned by Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ibad at the new building of the of the Sindh Assembly at 11:00 am on Saturday.

According to sources, the Rs 850 billion budget would comprise of special development package of Rs 10 billion for Karachi and Rs 150 billion, a major chunk for education department.

The upcoming budget would also include Rs 70 billion for the law and order including expenditure for police, Rangers and other authorities while the provincial government would also announce new recruitments of over 20,000 personnel in police department of which majority would be assigned security of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

“Rs 55 billons are allocated for health sector along with more recruitment in the department in order to make functional the medical centres in far-flung areas of the province,” according to the source.

The provincial government’s Rs 10 billion special package for Karachi would be spent on extension project of Shaarey Faisal, underpasses at Star Gate and Punjab Chowrangi while separate allocations were also made for the Orange Line bus project, K-IV bulk water supply project and S-III sewerage system project. Sources said Rs 6 million each will be allocated for Orange Line project and K-IV while Rs 1 billion is allocated for S-III project.

The provincial government had also allocated an amount of Rs 42 billion for local bodies department along with a special allocation made for the local bodies system of the province.

The size of the Annual Development Programme of the proposed Sindh budget for 2016-17 scheduled to be presented in the provincial on Saturday is likely to be Rs 199.082 billion.

The development outlay, however, would be Rs 264.813bn, which would include Rs 25bn for districts, Rs 28bn from the FPA, and Rs 12.013bn from the federal PSDP. Meanwhile, presiding over a cabinet meeting here at the CM House on Friday, the Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah said that the PPP government was going to present fourth budget tomorrow (today). Our leadership is conscious. This budget is more inclined to eradicate poverty by alleviating sufferings of the people and people of Sindh would appreciate the next budget.

The cabinet meeting was attended by all the provincial ministers, advisors and special assistants who had the status of provincial ministers, chief secretary Siddique Memon, Senior Member Board of Revenue Rizwan Memon, Additional Chief Secretary (Dev) Mohammad Waseem, Secretary Finance Sohail Rajput and other concerned officers.

Senior Minister for Finance Syed Murad Ali Shah and secretary Finance Sohail Rajput briefed the cabinet on the proposed budget. They also briefed the meeting about the recoveries of Sindh Revenue Board, Excise & Taxation Department and Board of revenue. They said that almost all the recovery targets had been achieved, except the target of Board of Revenue for certain reasons.

Additional Chief Secretary (Development) Mohammad Waseem briefed the cabinet on the next proposed Annual development Programme (ADP). On the advice of the chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah the budget for the departments working for the welfare of the society such as Social Welfare, Special Education, Sports & Youth Affairs, Minorities and Women Development had been increased.

Mohammad Waseem said that there would be 1777 on-going and 996 new schemes in the ADP. Their total budget would be announced in the budget speech. He also highlighted the new budget proposals of all the government departments. He said that under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) priority schemes for important sectors such as education, health had been granted substantial budget. – Business Recorder