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CM to present ‘citizens budget’ for financial year 2021-22

Karachi

May 4, 2021

Sindh’s chief minister said on Monday that he has planned to present a “citizens budget” for the financial year 2021-22, for which he has started consulting with all the stakeholders, including industrialists, traders and agriculturists.

“We will incorporate all your good suggestions in the next budget, which will reflect the citizens’ participation,” said Syed Murad Ali Shah on Monday at the CM House, where he chaired a consultative meeting with stakeholders from the industrial and business sectors.

The chief executive told the stakeholders that the provincial government anticipates receiving Rs967.5 billion during the current financial year, and that the government will also receive Rs228 billion from its own resources.

“This is the total amount of the budget of the provincial government, that is Rs1.19 trillion,” he said, and added that out of the total budget, 81 per cent was spent on non-development side and 19 per cent to carry out development.

Shah said that out of the 81 per cent non-development budget, education was given 20 per cent, finance department 19 per cent, health 14 per cent, home (law & order and justice) 12 per cent, local government nine per cent and irrigation three per cent, while the rest went to 23 other departments.

He said that 43 per cent of the budget was utilised for paying salaries, 42 per cent for operational expenses and 15 per cent for pensions. He also said that the Sindh government is providing grants to leading hospitals and educational institutions.

The industrialists of Karachi said that there is a water shortage in almost all the industrial areas. On this the CM said that the combined treatment plant will be established with the support of the World Bank, assuring them that work on the project will be launched next year. “This treated water will be used for industrial purposes.”

The industrialists pointed out that the road in the Korangi Industrial Area has been constructed and its nullahs have also been cleaned. They demanded the construction of the Mehran Highway to resolve their traffic congestion issues in the city.

The CM said that he has already approved more than Rs450 million for the construction of the Mehran Highway. “I will ensure that work on the road is started during the next financial year.”

The office-bearers of the SITE Association suggested to the CM that the roads in the SITE Area be constructed along with the overhauling of the sewerage system.

On this Shah said that on the suggestion of the industrialists, 17 roads have been selected for widening and reconstruction in the SITE Area in the beginning of the next financial year. He added that the Karachi Water & Sewerage Board has started laying its pipelines in the area.

The CM noted down the suggestions given by the representatives of different industrialists and traders, and formed a committee comprising traders and representatives of the planning & development and finance departments to meet every month to discuss issues and resolve them.

Agriculturists told Shah that the province has harvested bumper crops of onion, but instead of exporting onions, the federal government keeps importing them, resulting in its price plummeting to Rs5 a kilogramme in the vegetable markets. They suggested there should be grower-friendly policies.

The growers asked the CM to encourage agricultural reach and horticulture in the province. They termed the subsidy being offered to the growers on fertiliser and cotton seed a good move for them. The traders also suggested establishing an industrial zone in Shaheed Benazirabad, which the CM noted down.