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Pakistan

Web Desk
May 16, 2019

Development budget enhanced from Rs55bn to Rs274 bn to uplift people’s livelihood, says CM Sindh

Pakistan

Web Desk
Thu, May 16, 2019

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that PPP government during the last none year has enhanced development budgetary allocation from Rs55 billion in 2008-9 to Rs274 billion in 2017-18 just to uplift peoples’ lives, livelihood and well-being.

This he said while participating in policy dialogue on Sustainable Development Goals organized convened by Taskforce headed by MPA Pir Mujeeb in collaboration with UNDP provincial government and Sustainable Development Goals Unit here at a local hotel. 

Mr Shah said that Sustainable Development Goals, which, indeed, has direct bearing on the uplift of peoples’ lives and livelihood was an important subject. He said just to achieve the SDGs and related targets, it was crucial to engage high-level political forums to mobilize and coordinate with public institutions and policies. 

“Though Sindh Province has taken many initiatives to achieve the SDG targets, however, we realize that the holistic achievement of SDGs is only possible if SDGs are integrated with the ongoing provincial planning processes”.

“Given the wider scope of the SDGs and the increased number of targets and indicators there is a strong need for political will and active participation of all key government agencies to implement the SDGs at national and sub national level,” Mr Shah said and added SDGs can be achieved successfully by reinforcing policies across government departments and agencies.

Giving over overview, the Annual Development Plan (ADP) in Sindh, the chief minister said that it was Rs.55 billion in 2008-09 which was increased by PPP government to Rs.161 billion in 2012-13 and then again to Rs.274 billion in 2017-18. 

“These funds include the development allocation for district plans, which was Rs. 12 billion in 2008-09 and was increased to Rs. 30 billion in 2017-18,” he said. He added “experience has shown that development interventions have largely been decided and influenced by supply-driven and patronage-based considerations or these have dictated by technocentric approaches in isolation of political economy paradigm.”

The chief minister said that the Development was not merely a technical issue and neither was this purely apolitical process. “I am of the view that SGDs cannot be achieved without making some key political decisions aimed at critical public policy rethinking coupled with enhanced political ownership of SDG Framework,” he said and suggested that Development communities needed to identify the political pathways through which progress towards sustainable development could be made possible.

With the social sector devolved to provinces, there is a need to develop robust mechanisms at sub-national and inter-provincial levels to mainstream SDGs in existing sectoral planning via annual development programs (ADPs) and long-term budgetary frameworks, Mr Shah aid and added “in this regard, a much needed ‘localization’ of SDGs is possible through a decentralized political response to lingering development deficits at local and sub-national levels.”

He said that this necessitated to work closely with the political parties and parliamentary forums to mainstream SDGs in existing budgetary and allocations frameworks which were” largely influenced and determined by political decision making. “Today’s Policy Dialogue is a right beginning to this direction.”

Mr Shah said that his Government, in collaboration with UNDP and other development partners aimed to focus on three areas leading to informed policy making and pro-people development paradigm. They include giving technical support to the planning processes, implementation and monitoring SDGs related interventions in Sindh; Communication Support bringing SDG Framework as a key point of reference in Sindh government's policy communication; and Strengthen partnerships between Sindh government and development actors on social sector development.

He said that the ultimate purpose of political engagement was to create broad-based ownership of SDGs and informed and influenced resource allocation in line with SDG Framework. “However, this does not happen in isolation of the technical backstopping and without making a business case for public and private sector investments,” he said.

Mr Shah said that the provision of targeted technical support would significantly help translate the political ownership and engagement into actual policy and financial decisions. He added that the SDGs Support Unit has already identified these tools under Mainstreaming, Accelerating, and Policy Support (MAPS) Approach for localizing SDGs in Sindh. “In order to create a corresponding relationship between political ownership and technical backstopping, it is important that prioritized sectors and concerned departments are provided with baselines; and targets to inform the budgetary frameworks of the government,” he said.

To achieve these objectives, Mr Shah reiterated the commitment of his government to work in close collaboration with all political parties represented in the Sindh Assembly, Members of the Parliamentary Task Force, Our respected Development Partners, our distinguished Civil Society Representatives, Members of Business Community, esteemed Academics, Experts, Community Based Organizations, and last but not the least our Critical Media Friends. “We under the dynamic leadership of Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari intends to change the destiny of the people of Sindh through collaborative efforts and a serious sense of purpose,” he concluded.

Those who spoke on the occasion include Khawaja Izhar, MPA Mohammad Rasheed, Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Qaiser Bengali and others. The recommendations of the dialogue would be sent to the chief minister for implementation.