CM Sindh Murad unveils Tax Free Budget 2022-23 with 15% raise in salaries

F.P. Report

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah tabled the proposed provincial budget for fiscal 2022-23 with a total outlay of Rs1.7 trillion in the assembly on Tuesday.

In the budget, Murad Ali Shah announced raising salaries by 15 per cent and pensions by 5 per cent and if any province will provide extra raises in salaries then Sindh will also revise its salaries package for all government employees and pensioners.

He also announced to include the ad-hock allowances for the years 2016 to 2021 in the basic salaries of the government employees as well. CM announced following the pattern of the federal government and integration of ad-hoc relief allowances from 2016 to 2021 in the basic salaries of the public servants.

CM Sindh announced a Social Security Package of Rs26.850 billion for the stability of the poor classes in the province. He also announced to complete 1510 schemes in the financial year 2022-23.

The CM said they have allocated Rs253.146 billion for 2506 ongoing development schemes while 79.019 billion for 1652 new development schemes.

In the budget statement, CM Sindh said his government is presenting a tax-free budget as no extra tax burden is being put on the poor masses and also giving some relief packages for farmers and the social sector.

He informed that the total deficit of the budget is expected at Rs33 billion. Rs332 billion was allocated for the Annual Development Program and proposed Rs219 billion for health.

Murad Ali Shah said there is a proposal to give Rs109 billion to the police department. He said Rs152 billion have been allocated for the law and order. He also announced to up-gradation of the Police Constable’s grades from Grade 5 to Grade 7.

He said the target for provincial taxes is Rs374 billion while funds for the Irrigation Department have been enhanced from Rs21 billion to Rs24 billion in the budget 2022-23.

Sindh government has allocated Rs326.80 billion for education and announced to set up university or university campuses in seven districts including Korangi, Karachi West, Kamari, Malir, Tando Muhammad Khan, Tando Allahyar and Sajawal.

Korangi will have a University of Technology and Skill, Vocational or Industrial Development, Karachi West and Kamari will have sub-campuses of this university, and Malir will have a sub-campus of NED University. Tando Muhammad Khan and Tando Allahyar will be given sub-campuses of IBA Karachi or Sukkur IBA. Mehran University will have a sub-campus in Sajawal

The total health budget estimate for the financial year 2022-23 has been set at Rs206.98 billion while Rs224.675 billion has been earmarked for Karachi Water and Sewerage Sector in FY 2022-23.

The funds for Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB) have been increased from Rs8 billion to Rs12 billion. The Sindh government has made a plan to extend the SSWMB to other districts including Hyderabad, Qasimabad, Kotri, Sukkur City and Rohri in the next financial year.

Chief Minister Sindh announced the exemption of toll manufacturing services from SST and said the 5 per cent SST rate for “Recruiting Agents” will continue for the next two years.

He said the service provided by cable TV operators is taxed at 10% less which is extended for another two years ending June 30, 2024. While rural cable TV operators will be exempted from the “R” category SST under the PEMRA license till June 30, 2023.

The CM said the tax on food delivery channels from home chefs has been reduced from 13% to 8% while the current discount on health insurance services will continue for a period of one year till June 30, 2023.

He said the German development agency GIZ has been given conditional exemption in sales tax on development projects in Sindh.

Opposition members interrupted the Chief Minister continuously during his budget statement in the house. The house also witnessed a quarrel between the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the opposition party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) members. Khurram Sher Zaman alleged PPP’s Manzoor Wassan for picking his mobile up and tried to enter the treasury lobby but the Chair and the security halted him. PPP legislators rejected the claim of the PTI member.