Sindh Chief Minster Syed Murad Ali Shah on Tuesday presented the tax-free budget for fiscal year 2021-22 in the provincial assembly with a total outlay of Rs1.4 trillion.
Unveiling the budget, Murad Ali Shah said that no new tax has been imposed in the provincial budget and the provincial budget has been increased by 19.1 percent.
He said Rs 3 billion has been allocated for the rehabilitation of agriculture while Rs 16 billion has been earmarked for the welfare of the citizens.
Murad Ali Shah went on to say that Rs 1.70 billion has been allocated for the rehabilitation of IT sector, while Rs 3 billion has been set aside for industrial development.
He said Rs 2 billion has been earmarked for low cost housing, Rs 1 billion for livestock and fisheries, Rs 500 million for women engaged in agriculture, Rs 500 million for special children s fund and the largest share of the budget is for education sector. The budget for education has been increased by 14.2%.
The Sindh CM said more than 900 posts would be created in the health sector at various levels, adding that Rs 18 billion has been allocated for the purchase of medicines and Rs 24 billion has been earmarked for dealing with the coronavirus epidemic.
He announced a 25 percent increase in salaries of the government employees besides increasing the minimum wage from Rs 17,000 to Rs25,000. “Other than the police constables, an allowance has been introduced for the government employees,” he said.
The Sindh Chief Minister said that a proposal to increase the minimum wage from Rs 17,500 to Rs 25,000 was also under consideration.
He said that the grant given to SIUT has been increased by 27% and Rs 18.50 billion has been earmarked in the development budget for health.
Besides, Rs 119.97 billion has been allocated for Sindh law and order. The budget of local bodies has been increased by 31.3% to Rs 10.48 billion, while Rs 30 billion has been earmarked for the development budget of Works and Services.
“Building our success is a continuation of our policies,” he said and added we worked out a detailed strategy for the expansion of health sector. We plan to do more in the next financial year.
He said: “Education is the most important and the only factor in the life of a nation. The Sindh government is striving to provide quality education to all. Young people and children are really the future of our nation. The curriculum taught in the school has to be monitored. The budget for education has been proposed at Rs 277.5 billion.”
“Rs18.50 billion have been earmarked for development projects in the health sector,” he said.
Rs119.97 billion have been earmarked for maintaining law and order situation in the province, he said besides announcing Rs7.64 billion for the transport department that also included the purchase of 250 diesel hybrid electric buses.
The transport and mass transit department also has an allocation of Rs8.2 billion in the provincial ADP.
CM Murad said that the development outlay for the budget is estimated at Rs329.033 billion, witnessing an increase of 41.3 percent from the previous year.
Murad said that the Sindh government aimed to develop a Technology Park at NED University of Karachi to promote technical education, research and development.
We have all witnessed that during this pandemic, information technology had a crucial role in maintaining a sense of normality. Considering the significance, the feasibility study of the project was expedited and completed during 2020-21. The project cost is estimated at Rs 8 billion. The project is expected to be tendered in 3 months’ time.
While speaking on Tharparker tourism project, he said that the district Tharparker was one of Pakistan’s most beautiful natural environments had a tremendous potential as a magnet for tourism activities and revenue.
The tourism spots at Thar such as Nagarparker (Karoonjhar Mountains), Mithi, and Naukot Fort offer great potential to develop tourism activities. The project aims to establish world class tourism spots and activities to attract further greater number of tourists round the year.
He said that the province of Sindh led the entire country in Public Private Partnership and our project portfolio had grown up to Rs 400 billion.
The Sindh government initiated a mega skill development program namely Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Youth Development Program in 2008-09. In its thirteen years of existence, the Board has trained approximately 434,260 Youth which includes 246,426 males and 187,834 females in various employable trades through public and private sectors.
Sindh Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (STEVTA) has enrolled 50,773 trainees and trained 20,457 across Sindh in the current financial year 2020-21.
Budget Estimates for Current Revenue Expenditure of Energy Department are estimated at Rs 23.26 billion, which includes Rs 21 billion for clearance of outstanding liabilities of electricity dues of various government departments pertaining to DISCOs such as KE, HESCO and SEPCO. The ADP for energy department is pitched at Rs 2.5 billion for FY 2021-22.
In order to tap the real potential of the Thar Coal, the development of the Coal Field was the top priority of the government. Many initiatives were taken some are achieved and others are in progress.
He said that Road Master Plan was being prepared for the next 20 years for the road network of the province this also includes survey of exiting 53000 Km road network. GPS coordinates of all roads will be included in the road database. On the basis of these features, Master Planning will be carried out for the next 20 years
The future programs also include construction of Hyderabad Southern Bypass, having cost of about US$ 1.0 (M). This project is also being initiated with the assistance of Asian Development Bank and most feasible alignment of 54 kms has been finalized.