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Sindh budget Updates For Year 2015 and 2016
KARACHI: Sindh Finance Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah presenting provincial budget for fiscal year 2015-16 in Sindh Assembly, ARY News reported on Saturday.
The provincial budget of around 739 billions outlay was presented on the floor of the provincial assembly as the finance minister claimed that the budget was prepared focussing overall prosperity of the people by optimal utilization of the resources to attain the targets of socio-economic development.
The provincial receipts are likely to be over Rs132 billion in comparison to Rs125.06 billion.
Government employees are expected to get 10 per cent pay raise while the minimum monthly salary likely to be fixed at Rs13,000.
Earlier, the Sindh Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah on Saturday approved budget proposals for the fiscal year 2015-16.
The budget session of the house chaired by Speaker Siraj Durrani continued with commotion from the opposition benches.
The uproar from opposition continued to disturb the house proceedings despite repeated requests from the chair.
The finance minister continued his budget speech amid opposition slogans.
The provincial finance minister will be announcing a Rs715-billion budget for the fiscal year 2015-2016, said an official in the finance department. The development budget, which was Rs168 billion last year, is now estimated at Rs162 billion. “We have initially estimated Rs162 billion as Sindh’s ADP to carry out various development schemes in the province,” he said. “This amount will be increased to over Rs200 billion after the federal government and foreign-funded projects are added to it.”
Meanwhile, the non-development expenditure that mostly includes salaries and other expenditures may jump to 10 to 15 per cent, he added. Despite expectations of a surplus, Sindh will be announcing a budget deficit of around Rs16 billion.
Till late on Friday, a Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leadership meeting was taking place at Bilawal House to give a final shape to the budget.
A new tax is also being proposed on professional jobs, such as doctors and engineers. This tax was earlier suggested in the last budget but the government withdrew the decision. There will be 1,762 ongoing schemes and 590 new schemes. “Around 67 per cent of the funds will be utilised on old schemes and 33 on new ones,” said a finance department official.
“Despite financial constraints, we have proposed a 10 per cent increase in the salaries of government employees and a Rs1,000 Ramzan package for each woman registered under the Benazir Bhutto income support programme,” said a finance department official.
According to an official document available with The Express Tribune, the development budget for the education department has been reduced from Rs11 billion to Rs10 billion. “Rs8 billion will be spent on ongoing schemes and Rs2 billion will be utilised for new schemes in the province,” said education secretary Fazulluah Pechuho, adding that the budget is being reduced because the federal government has not released sufficient funds to the province. “We want to allocate a realistic amount that can easily be released and spent.”
The budget for the works and services department, which was Rs9.6 bilion in the outgoing year, will also be decreased to Rs9 billion. The health department was allocated Rs15 billion in the outgoing year but the department has proposed an increase of Rs5 billion in the upcoming year.
The finance department wants, however, to decrease its budget by Rs 1 billion. “I cannot comment on it but our budget will either increase or we will retain the same allocation that was allocated to us in outgoing year,” said health secretary Saeed Mangnejo.
Sharing other budget proposals, a finance department official said that more than Rs50 billion have been allocated for law and order situation, out of which Rs2 billion will be given to Rangers. The transport department will likely receive the same allocation, of Rs3 billion, as last year.
Meanwhile, the opposition seems unhappy with the budget details that have surfaced so far. The leader of the opposition in the Sindh Assembly, Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Khawaja Izharul Hassan, announced that they will stage a protest during the budget session if Karachi and other urban parts of Sindh are not given sufficient shares in the development budget.