KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Friday presented Rs1,217 billion provincial budget for the fiscal year 2019-20.
Presenting the budget, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that province’s revenue targets have been revised from Rs243.082 billion to Rs240.746 billion.
He said that the PPP focused its energies towards serving the people, the current government seems to have no interest in actual work. They have failed consistently to reach their tax collection targets. With a record shortfall of almost 447 billion in 11 months, FBR performance reached an all-time low during the last one year. Consequently, Sindh has been deprived of its due share and we are enduring a shortfall of Rs.117.5 billion (BE basis) owing entirely to the federal government.
Murad Ali Shah said that the provincial revenue targets have been revised from Rs243.082 billion to Rs.240.746 billion. As a result, against an estimated budgetary amount of Rs1.123 trillion, the revised receipts for Current Financial Year stand at Rs940.777 billion.
He said, “Due to poor receipts, we had to cut down our development expenditure which now stands at Rs172.941 billion for current financial year. This proved to be a major impediment to achieving our goals. Many development schemes that could have been completed have been delayed due to non-availability of funds. Similarly, on the Current Revenue Side estimates have been revised from Rs773.237 billion to Rs751.752 billion. The reduction on the current revenue side is primarily because of the severe austerity measures and strict financial discipline.”
On the current revenue side, the expenditure budget is estimated at Rs870.217 billion which shows an increase of 12.5pc over the current year allocation of Rs773.237 billion. The 12pc increase in expenditure is primarily in the employee related expenses which could not have been avoided. Similarly, the impact of increasing utilities has been absorbed. Our austerity policy shall continue during the next financial year. We have introduced major cuts in operating expenses. However, it would not be done at the cost of social sectors.
The allocation for school education is increased in non-development budget from Rs170.832 billion in year 2018-19 to Rs178.618 billion in next financial year 2019-20. Whereas, on development side, Rs.15.15 billion are allocated in ADP 2019-20. The School Education portfolio has been allocated Rs15.15 billion for 279 schemes (188 on-going and 91 new schemes).
The provincial government also proposed an allocation of Rs9.597 billion in the budget of Sindh Education Foundation for the next financial year 2019-20.
The allocation for college education is increased in non-development budget from Rs15777 billion in the year 2018-19 to Rs.18.094 billion in next financial year 2019-20. Whereas, on development side, Rs4 billion are allocated in ADP 2019-20.
Meanwhile, the allocation for Universities and Boards Department is increased in non-development budget from Rs9.529 billion in year 2018-19 to Rs10.585 billion in next financial year 2019-20. For the Universities and Boards; the Government has earmarked Rs.3.0 billion for FY 2019-20, through which various initiatives relating to higher education will be financed.
The current revenue expenditure of Health Department excluding medical education has been significantly increased by 19 percent from Rs96.8 billion in CFY 2018-19 to Rs114.4 billion in FY 2019-20. For FY year 2018-19, Rs.13.5 billion was allocated for 170 schemes and by June 3, 2019,Rs. 4.61 billion were expended against a release of Rs.8.01 billion. 12 schemes are likely to be completed by June 2019, which will improve access to quality healthcare services.
Law and Order
As the law and order situation is directly related to social as well as economic development of people. The allocation for law and order sector has been increased in non-development budget from Rs100.483 billion in year 2018-19 to Rs109.788 billion in next financial year 2019-20.
Social Protection and Poverty Reduction Program
The government of Sindh has allocated Rs12.3 billion for Social Protection and Poverty Reduction program in the development budget of 2019-20. Under this, there will be focus on 3 major interventions (i) Peoples Poverty Reduction Program (PPRP), (ii) Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) and (iii) Social Protection. The finance department, GoS ongoing umbrella program of Accelerated Action Plan (AAP) for improving Nutrition and containing malnourishment and stunting will be a cross cutting intervention across the three major interventions.
The Sindh CM said that the allocation for energy sector increased in non-development budget from Rs23.883 billion in year 2018-19 to Rs24.920 billion in next financial year 2019-20.
For the coming year, an allocation of Rs.590.0 million has been earmarked for Electrification which includes provision of electricity to 570 villages by June 2020 and Sindh Solar Energy project with World Bank support is to provide 420 MW on-grid and rooftop solar installations. 200,000 households in rural areas would be provided solar home systems
Shah said that the allocation for irrigation sector is increased in non-development budget from Rs22.744 billion in year 2018-19 to Rs23.070 billion in next financial year 2019-20.
In the out-going year 2018-19, the Irrigation Sector was allocated Rs33.0 billion and as against this Rs22.1 billion were released on account of fiscal constraints. The Department was able to incur Rs18.6 billion expenditure by 3rd June 2019.This expenditure facilitated in completing 56 schemes.
He said for next financial year 2019-20 the provincial government has proposed an increase of 15 percent in pay as Adhoc Relief Allowance of all government employees and pensioners.