Out of Rs1.2tr budget, Rs72bn go to local bodies: Sindh CM

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KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that out of Rs1.2 trillion provincial budget, Rs870.2 billion are spent on salaries, employees’ retirement benefits, operation expenses, grants, subsidies, including Rs75 billion to local bodies and repair and maintenance.

Therefore, he added, there remains a small space for development works, even then the provincial government with appropriate financial management carries out uplift works all over the province.

This he said while addressing the visiting 45 trainee officers of Training Management & Research Wing of Batch 2019 here on Thursday at CM House. The proramme was attended by Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Secretary Finance Hassan Naqvi, Secretary Health Zahid Abbasi, Secretary P&D Shireen Narejo and others.

The chief minister said that the budget of 2019-20 was Rs1.2 trillion against the consumption of Rs870 billion on salaries, retirement benefits, operating expenses, interest payments, physical assets, repair and maintenance and grants and subsidies. He added that an amount of Rs72 billion was given to local bodies. “Now, we have decided to introduce in reforms in local bodies to make more effective and efficient,” he said.

Shah said that the development outlay was Rs284.04 billion, including Rs208 billion provincial, Rs20 billion district ADP, Rs51.5 billion foreign funded projects and Rs4.89 federal PSDP. “We have 1853 ongoing schemes with 78 per cent allocation and 852 new schemes with 22 per cent allocation.

To a question, Shah said that the Sindh was the only province which had constructed two bridges on river Indus and an airport at Tharparkar. “We have connected entire Sindh with the small and major road network and now anywhere one can travel easily,” he said.

Replying to a question, the chief minister said that all the Basic Health Units, except Karachi and Nawabshah, have been given to PPHI and they all were operating perfectly.

To a question, the chief minister said that had the vision of generating coal energy of Shaheed Mohterma Benazir Bhutto had been allowed to continue, Pakistan would have been a power-exporting country today. “Yes, we owned Mohterma’s projects and today Sindh is the only province which generates electricity in the country,” he said and added its benefits had also been passed to the people of Thar who had been provided jobs and had become partners in the project.

He agreed to a question that the infrastructure development was left behind by making huge investments in Thar. “Now, we have started the development of roads, water and sanitation,” he said.

Talking about poverty reduction strategy, Shah said that it was initiated in 2009 as UC-based poverty reduction programme and now it had been expanded to 18 districts. “We are also expanding it further to another eight districts through European Union funded `Sindh Council and Community Economic Strengthening and Support (SUCCESS) Programme being launched with 62 million Euros,” he said and added, “people of this province, particularly in the rural areas, are leading a difficult life with the lowest purchasing power.”

Brushing aside impression of ignoring Karachi, the chief minister said that 40 projects had been completed at a cost of Rs27.8 billion and more projects were in progress.

He urged the new officers to make up their mind to serve the people of this province honestly and to the best of their abilities.

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