Saturday September 18, 2021

Rs32.4bn released for ongoing uplift schemes, Rs2.27bn to LBs: CM

July 13, 2021

The Sindh finance department, on instructions from Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, has released Rs32.4 billion for the completion of ongoing uplift schemes.

The department has already released Rs6,007.609 million to local bodies against their monthly the Octroi Zila Tax share and grant-in-aid.

“Sindh is the only province in the country that has released its budget in the first week of the new financial year 2021-22.” This was stated by Chief Minister Shah in a statement issued from the CM House on Monday.

Shah said the Octroi Zila Tax had been abolished in the year 1999, and in lieu of the abolished tax, the federal government released funds through regular fiscal transfers at 2.5 percent of the OZT. “The share is low as compared to the municipal responsibilities of local councils,” he said and added: “Upon the abolishing of the OZT by the federal government and low receipts being received by the Sindh province in lieu of OZT, the Sindh government is continuously supporting all local councils in the province.” The CM said that keeping in view its commitment to keep the councils financially viable, the provincial government had been releasing monthly OZT share to all local councils in the province according to the PFC award announced in 2007, and subsequently as per tentative distribution approved by the government since 2016, which was, then, further enhanced at a rate of 15 per cent during the financial year 2017-18.

The administrative structure of local councils in Sindh consists of seven district municipal corporations, 24 district councils, one metropolitan corporation, three municipal corporations, Hyderabad, Sukkur and Larkana, 39 municipal committees, 147 town committees, and 1,526 union councils/ union committees.

He said the government, despite low receipts from the federal government, was consistently releasing sufficient funds to all local councils in order to cater to their financial and operational needs against the budgetary allocation of Rs78 billion for the financial year 2020-21. “The government has further enhanced the share by 15 per cent for the financial year 2021-22 and accordingly earmarked Rs82 billion for the current financial year 2021-22 for the salaries/ pension of employees of local councils with effect from July 2021.”

Shah said Karachi Division had nine major councils and 247 UCs, and it included KMC, Karachi District Council, seven DMCs and 247 union councils/committees.

The CM said that with the revised OZT share as of July 2021, the KMC share had been increased by Rs1,178.280 million annually, the share of seven DMCs of Karachi had been increased to Rs13,015.836 million from Rs12,135.73 million annually, and that of District Council Karachi to Rs.1,655.592 million from 1603.056 million.