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CM Sindh presents Rs1.2 trillion budget with deficit of Rs18.38 billion

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Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday presented a Rs1,241.13 billion budget with a deficit of Rs18.38 billion for next financial year, 2020-21.

He presented the budget in the provincial assembly. The chief minister said that the total outlay of budget 2020-21 was Rs.1,241.13 billion with Rs18.38 billion deficit.He added that the Non-development Expenditure was estimated atRs.968.99 billion, the Development Expenditure at Rs.232.94 billion and the Capital Expenditure was estimated at 39.19 billion.

According to the CM, the total Receipts are estimated at Rs.1,222.75 billion,including Federal Receipts at Rs.760.30 billion (65 percent), Provincial Receipts at Rs.313-39 billion (26.8 percent), Capital Receipts at Rs.25 billion (2.1 percent) and other Receipts at (FPA & PSDP) Rs.69.05 billion (5.9 percent).

Murad Ali Shah said that that no new tax has been introduced in the budget 2020-21 and the increase in Non-development expenditure is restricted to seven percent only.

Mr Shah said that the increase in non-development expenditure was mainly due to provision of `COVID-related pro-poor’ Social Protection & Economic Sustainability package of Rs.34.2 billion and rise of Rs19 billion in Health Sector and Rs22.9 billion in Education Sector approximately from current year’s budget allocations. He added that the austerity measures from non-development budget has created space for development budget.

According to Mr Shah, this year, overall Federal Receipts are reduced by Rs.71.72 billion which constituted nine percent as compared to the current financial year 2019-20.“The overall Provincial Receipts are estimated at Rs.313-4 billion which is nine percent higher than current financial year.,” he said.

In spite of pandemic challenge, economic slowdown and sluggish Revenue Targets, Mr Shah said, the Sindh government has introduced a “COVID Related Pro-poor Social Protection & Economic Sustainability Initiatives” of Rs.34.2 billion in budget 2020-21, with key sectors are Social Welfare, Agriculture, Industries and Investment.

The CM said: “Rs.3 billion is earmarked for Poverty Alleviation Program for Small Business in Urban Areas,Rs.2 billion is proposed for Poverty Alleviation Program for Small Formers/Communities in Rural Areas,Rs.20 billion is estimated for Cash Transfer under `Sindh Peoples Support Program’,

Rs.1 billion is allocated as a `Subsidy for Quality Rice Seeds’ to Small Farmers, Rs.1 billion for `Subsidy for Fertilizers’ to Small Farmers,Rs.1 billion is allocated as a “Subsidy for Pesticides” to Small Farmers,Rs.5 billion is allocated for `Soft Loans Program’ for small and medium enterprises through Sindh Bank,Rs.700 million is proposed for Support of IT Technology Interventions & Innovative Solutions andRs.500 million is earmarked for Supporting Technology based Startups – Incubators & Accelerators.

According to Mr Shah, the Agriculture Department budget is increased by 40percent to Rs.14.84 billion mainly due to subsidy package for Small Farmers and Locust Control. “The Sindh government has allocated Rs.440 million for Locust control,” Mr Shah said.

The Health Department Budget is raised by 16.1 percent to Rs.139.18 billion to counter Covid-19 Pandemic and Infectious Diseases.Health Risk Allowance at the rate of one basic pay will be provided to all Health personnel including postgraduate and house job officers engaged in Covid-19 cases with effect from March, 2020.

The chief minister said that the Education Departments dudget is augmented by 10.2 percent to Rs.243.14 billion for quality education and to cope up the post Pandemic academic challenges

He said that the Grants to Local Councils was increased by five percent to Rs.78 billion in the next budget.

Rs170 bnADP: The chief minister said that the actual size of the ADP was Rs170 billion which include Rs155 billion provincial and Rs15 billion District ADP.

The Federal Funded Projects are estimated at Rs.8.30 billion and Foreign Funded Projects are estimated at 54.64 billion.The PPP Projects are estimated at Rs.117 billion for Infrastructure Development.

Skill Uplift: 2,500 youth will be trained in various employable trades through private and public sector.Training opportunities to 70,000 youth reference to COVID-19 scenario will be provided

Budget speech: In his budget speech, the chief minister said that that we have gone through a long and tiring journey, facing and combating the challenges posed by COVID-19, the epidemic that spread across international borders and eventually escalated into a global pandemic spreading over 200 countries like wildfire. He added that it also affected Pakistan and we now see its extended impact on our social and economic domains. “In the wake of the disastrous effects of Covid-19, the Sindh government initiatives and resources had to be redirected to save precious lives and a potentially decelerating economy,” he said.

Mr Shah said that COVID-19 was primarily a threat to existing health systems, and subsequently extended its impact to all facets of life, as it grew in size and reach, at a massive scale, therefore, the world had to divert its resources to save people from this invisible enemy. “It has brought life to a grinding halt and converted cities into virtual ghost towns as lock down, considered to be the only working strategy to face the threat, was imposed almost all over the world.,” he said and added that it was aimed at minimizing people-to-people physical contact, breaking the human chain of dominoes, and thus coined the new term “Social Distancing”.

The CM said that the Sindh government followed the universally adopted approach to address the threat posed by COVID-19. “Sindh was the first province to take steps for enforcing and implementing a lock down, he said and added the Steps were taken as soon as the first case surfaced on 26th February 2020, and schools were immediately closed to protect our children,” he said and went on saying “we moved towards closing down all places where people could gather and a lockdown was imposed on 23rd March 2020 and continued to remain in force in certain domains. The other provinces followed suit and gradually, the rest of the country also imposed a lockdown.”

He said that his government did not rely on a lockdown alone but we diverted our resources towards providing better health facilities, and towards supporting the common man facing a potential meltdown, as economy came to a near standstill, as a result of an imminent national lockdown.

Steps to contain COVID-19:Highlighting some of the major steps taken by the Sindh government, the chief minister said:  theCoronavirus Emergency Fund (CEF) was created with initial outlay at Rs.3 billion, initially with Rs.1.3 billion contributions fromthe Sindh government and around Rs1.7 billion from our government employees.He added that provisioning of moneys is monitored and approved by a Committee headed by the Chief Secretary, Sindh. He said that the committee has strong representation from private sector for ensuring transparency as well as neutrality in the processes. “We hired one of top four audit firms, which has already submitted its first audit report,” he disclosed.

Murad Shah said that the Health Risk (HRA) allowance at the rate of one Running Basic salary in relevant Pay Scale has been allowed initially to the Health Personnel who were performing duties related to COVID-19 patients in the health institutions/ laboratories. “This HRA is being extended to all health professionals, Post Graduate/House Job Officers will also be paid initial basic pay of BPS-18/17 respectively with effect from March 2020 till subsiding of COVID-19 pandemic,” he said and disclosed that the HRA impact on the exchequer would beof around Rs.1billion in year 2020-21.”

The CM said that Corona testing capacity has been enhanced to 11,450 per day which was initially only 80 tests per day. He added that in order to cope with extraordinary situation arising out of COVID-19, his government has taken expeditiously initiated steps to make necessary arrangements to avert big human disaster,”.

He said, we have established 81 isolation centers in all districts with 8,266 beds capacity and by June, 2020 this capacity would increase to 8,616. For ensuring timely supplies and proper service delivery, the CM said, the Sindh government has constituted Medical Procurement Committee. “The Committee procured Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), Laboratory Items and Equipment and other essential Machinery worth Rs.2.43 billion, including expenditure of Rs.1.5 billion under Corona Emergency Fund and Rs.891.8 million from PDMA Fund,” he said and added in addition to existing ventilators, 101 more ventilators were procured on need basis for public health sector facilities with 250 monitors to ensure timely availability of life saving services to critical patients.  

He also said that Infectious Diseases Hospital, NIPA, Karachi was supported with Rs.2 billion through a Grant in Aid.

Mr Shah said that his government also focused on addressing the social and economic impact of coronavirus, due to which a large segment of low-income groups was affected owing to slowed economic activity. He added, in order to ensure that this marginalized segment of our society was looked after with dignity, he released over Rs.1.08 billion to all deputy commissioners of the province for ensuring that rations reach the needy at their doorsteps. 

He said that taxes relating to Property, Motor Vehicles, Professions, Trades, Callings and Employment were exempted, apart from giving 20 percent concession in tuition fee for the months of April and May 2020 for students studying in private sector.  He added that all schools, colleges and universities were closed as a safety measure in wake of COVID-19, closed most public sector offices, except of essential services.

Mr Shah said closed offices, businesses and industry in private sector, but ensured that essential services are provided uninterrupted, closed cinema halls, shopping malls, marriage halls, lawns, cinema halls, banquet halls, hotels, farm houses, markets (except shops selling vegetables and rations), auditoriums, halls, boutiques, luxury items outlets, beauty parlors, beaches, showrooms and boutiques etc. As a bottom line, all commercial and non-commercial venues for potential public gatherings were closed to ensure minimum physical contact and maximum of social distancing. He added that we compelled owners of private sector offices and trades etc. to pay salaries to employees.

The CM said that he made it a regular practice to keep people of the province informed on government efforts against COVID-19, and approached the public through video addresses on a weekly basis. “Whenever necessity demanded, such video messages were aired on a daily basis,” he said.

Appreciating the efforts of healthcare personnel,the chief minister said that doctors, nurses, paramedics, and technicians who provided care to COVID-19 patients by placing their lives at stake as our first line of defense and proved that they were defenders of health of the nation. “We must also acknowledge the service provided by our Law Enforcement Agencies, the Police, Rangers and  the Armed Forces, who put their health and life  at risk to enforce government policies. He also acknowledged the services of revenue official, other government officials,the media in serving and keeping the people informed in these difficult times respectively. He also acknowledged the assistance provided by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the Aga Khan University Hospital, SIUT and Indus Hospital. “I specially want to mention Dr. Adib Rizvi, Dr. Abdul Bari Khan and Dr. Faisal Mahmood for their guidance.

“We were criticized by various quarters on our initiatives against COVID-19butwe took criticism positively and continued our efforts to save people of the province from the pandemic,” he said.

He also appreciated the support extended by our close friend China who shared their experience of handling COVID-19. “This helped us in attending to the situation with better preparedness,” he said. He also appreciated the cooperation received from the federal government.“Although we have not received as much assistance as the people of Sindh deserved, we are grateful for whatever was given,” he said.

Three hospitals of Karachi: The chief minister said that seemed like the federal govt has not grasped the concept or the efficacy of teamwork. “At a time when our frontline workers and our hospitals needed the most support, they have instead made a bid to take over the running of three of our major hospitals,” he said and added“this is an already failed bid that they also made earlier and one that we had hoped would not be repeated.”

He said that the hospitals, the fed govt was trying to illegally take control off, have been hailed as success stories. “The federal govt should know that we will not sit idly as they attempt to bring our hospitals down to the level of the ones they operate,” he said and added “we had hoped that personal petty agendas would have been ignored at the time of Covid, but we have been disappointed.”

Economy: The CM said the threat of COVID-19 began to look ominous in the month of March 2020 and prior to that, we continued to achieve revenue targets and fulfilled promises made in his budget speech for fiscal 2019-2020. “Things began to change for worse once this demon raised its head,however, we acted in time and prevented colossal damage to life and economy and Inshallah this predicament is over soon and we get back on our track to progress,” he hoped.

Agriculture: The chief minister said that we have an agrarian economy andAgriculture played a pivotal role in the country’s economy. He added it contributed 24 percent to the GDP. “Sindh’s contribution to national production is 36 percent in rice, 29 percent in sugarcane, 34 percent in cotton and 15 percent in wheat,” he said and vowed to increase agricultural output to make the farmers and the province prosperous.

He said that unfortunately, we are facing the imminent threat of food insecurity, as a direct result of Locusts, which not only threaten our crops, but also put our economy at stake. “Our farmer friendly government is making untiring efforts to address this threat and save our crops,” he said.

Mr Shah said that the Sindh government had declared a locust emergency in December 2019 in light of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Desert Locust Watch warnings which predicted severe locust threat for Pakistan. “It predicted a farmore severe threat as compared with locust swarms in previous years and the prediction forecasted is an extended threat for next two or more years,” he warned.

He said that his government took a number of steps to counter the threat which include survey and spray of locust affected areas, establishment of a helpline and deployment of field teams.  He added that the number of teams has now risen to 98 with 358 personnel work-force.“Apart from constituting committee on district and taluka level, an awareness campaign was launched against locus,” he said and agriculture department wasin constant touch with growers, farmers, agriculture organizations such as  SindhAbadgar Board and Chamber of Agriculture to face the challenge of locust.

He said that the Agriculture Department was coordinating with Pak Army, National Disaster Management Authority, Pakistan Rangers, fed govt’s Department of Plant Protection, PDMA and district administrations. He disclosed that the World Bank has assured to helpin addressing the threat from locust.“The Government of China has also come in to help and has provided 12 Air-blast Sprayers for mounting on vehicles,” he said.

18th amendment, NFC: Expressing his dismay, the CH said that while the country was facing the grave challenges of COVID-19, some quarters were attempting to raise an issue for revisiting the contents of the 18th Amendment passed in 2010 by Majlis-e-Shoora. “Not only the 18th Amendment is being discussed, share distribution formula of NFC Awards is also being questioned,” he said and added “I would iterate our commitment to stand for the autonomy given to provinces by 18th Amendment.”

He said that since the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the 18th amendment was animportant step in devolving powers from the federal government to the provincial governments and the credit of this amendment went to President Asif Ali Zardari.

“I will mince no words in saying that it was only due to devolved powers under the 18th amendment that Sindh spearheaded the country in taking preventative safety measures in wake of COVID-19,” the CM said and added the amendment equipped the provinces to design workable strategies and take practical measures to address this global emergency.

He said that in the absence of devolved powers, the provinces would have looked to the federal government for instructions, guidance and resources, and possibility of a prompt action would have been little to none.  He added this would have resulted in colossal damage, but under 18th Amendment our situation remained under control. “The Federal Government, later on joined hands with the provinces in a rear guard action and we now hope to see the silver lining on the Covid dark cloud soon,” he said.

He said, thus, a talk of reversal of 18th amendment, or a change in the amendment in any form may reduce the powers of the province, which may consequently weaken the federation itself. “Eventually, trust deficit may develop between the federation and the federating units. If, God forbid, this happens, it will increase suffering of the people, and the provincial governments may not be in position to respond in a timely manner to mitigate distress or disappointment,” he said.

The chief minister said that PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addressing at a LUMS Seminra, Lahore in March 2020 said, “In 2010 when we achieved consensus and all democratic parties played role in the passage of the 18th Amendment. It is the only way forward to ensure the rights of the smaller provinces”.

Mr Shah said  “we are committed to granting the rights of the people enshrined in the constitution, we are also committed to protecting provincial autonomy as extended to the people of Pakistan by the constitution and we will not compromise our principled stand on the 18th amendment in the public interest.”

He said after returning victorious in the general elections held in 2018, this is the third budget we are presenting. “The service rendered by our party and the vision and sacrifices of our leadership convinced the people of Sindh to vote us into Government again, so that we continue our efforts for their welfare and an improved quality of life in general,” he said and added in this grave and dismal situation, we have tried our best to prepare and present a balanced budget before this august House.

The CM said that we were pleased that our public officials have rendered services in public interest, but a lot still needed to be done in this regard. “We want to build a system of public service delivery in which we ensure that people of the province benefit from best possible service, delivered right at the doorstep,” he said.

Rs228.bn shortfall in revised estimated of 2019-20: The chief minister said the provincial budget of Sindh, like other provinces, depended mainly upon federal transfers as it constitutedmore than 70 percent of the provincial budget. He added “the Sindh government sets its development and non-development programs and targets based on the commitment made by the federal government, therefore any short fall in this regard seriously impacts the performance of provincial government.”

He said that in financial year 2019-20, the Federal Government had set a target of collections atRs.5.55 trillion for Federal Board of Revenue(FBR). According to the share distribution formula, the CM said, the Sindh government was to receive a total of Rs.835.3 billion, consisting of Rs.761 billion under divisible pool, Rs.53.9 billion in straight transfers and Rs.20.5 billion as grants to offset losses of abolished OZT. “In reality, the federal government conveyed year end Revised Estimates at a total of Rs.606.7 billion, with Rs.534.9 billion from divisible pool, Rs.57.3 billion in straight transfers and Rs.14.3 billion on account of OZT,” he said and added,hence the total Revised Estimates for federal transfers fell 27percent short by an amount of Rs.228.6 billion for the current financial year 2019-20.

Murad Shah said, standing in the 12thmonth in the current financial year, we have received a Rs.525.1 billion, with Rs.471.0 billionin divisible pool, Rs.41.5 billion as straight transfers and Rs.12.7 billion as OZT share. Thus, in terms of actuals, we received 31 percent short that was Rs.240.6 billion short of the budget estimates.

Provincial Receipts: The CM said that the total provincial receipts for the financial year 2019-20 was fixed at Rs.288.7 billion but the COVID-19 situation deeply affected the provincial receipts. “The actual collection is expected to be Rs.210.0 billion which is only 8 percent higher than the last year’s actual collections Rs.194.9 billion,” he said. 

Rs1.2 trn budget estimatesfor 2020-21: Mr Shah said that the federal government has set Federal Board of Revenue a target of Rs.4.9 trillion for the next financial year 2020-21. “Sindh has been conveyed its anticipated Federal Transfers under NFC share distribution formula. The total receivables from the federal government for the financial year 2019-20 stand at Rs.760.3 billion, wherein Rs.679.7 billion is share from divisible pool, Rs.62.3 billion as straight transfers and Rs.18.3 billion in respect of grants to offset losses on abolition of OZT,” he said

He said that the federal Budget Estimates for the next financial year 2020-2021 were lower than the Budget Estimates of 2019-20 by Rs.75.1 billion.

Mr Shah said that it was estimated that total provincial receipts for the Financial Year 2020-21 would be Rs.313.3 billion, approximately nine percent higher than the Budget Estimates for the financial year 2019-20. He said in order to achieve the provincial target in receipts, the Revenue Collecting Agencies are being strengthened with increased emphasize on automation, he said and added moreover, monitoring mechanisms would also be developed to monitor provincial receipts.

Mr Murad said “the total outlay of budget for the next financial year, 2020-21 is Rs.1.2 trillion. The total size of Current Revenue Expenditure is Rs.968.9 billion,” he said and added itwas important to highlight here that for the next financial year, we have tried to align our Development as well as non-development expenditure priorities in line with the post COVID-19 situation.

425 schemes to be completed in 2019-20: Mr Shah said that during financial year 2019-20, we faced financial constraints due to COVID-19 which significantly affected development progress in the entire country, Sindh was no exception. He added that the Sindh government budgeted Rs.284 billion as total development outlay in financial year 2019-20, wherein Rs.208 billion were earmarked for Provincial ADP, Rs.20billion for District ADP, Rs.51 billion in foreign projects assistance, and Rs.4.9 billion from Federal PSDP grant. “Looking at the financial constraints, stakeholder departments are likely to complete 425 schemes during 2019-20, 33 schemes less as compared to 458 completed in 2018-19,” he disclosed.

Rs232 bn uplift portfolio, including Rs170 bn ADP 2020-21: The CM said that for the next financial year, 2020-21, the provincial departments in Sindh were earlier advised to prepare proposals for Provincial ADP 2020-21 at the size same as that of 2019-20 while allocating 85 percent for on-going schemes and 15 percent new schemes. However, he said, in a post Covid-19 scenario, with a reduction in federal transfers and funding for development, the total development outlay for Sindh for the next financial year 2020-21 is proposed at Rs.232.9 billion, allocating Rs.155 billion to Provincial ADP and Rs.15.0 billion to District ADP schemes.

He said Rs.54.6 billion were expected from Foreign Projects Assistance (FPA) and Rs.8.3 billion from Federal Government in Federal PSDP for 10 schemes under execution by the Sindh government.

Health Allocation increased by Rs10 bn: Mr Shah said that the government had earlier decided to keep the size of development budget for the next financial year 2020-21 for important sectors such as Education, Health, Social Safety & Poverty Reduction and Water & Sanitation nearly same as that of 2019-20. He added in exceptional cases such as Health, allocation has been increased from Rs.13.50 billion to Rs.23.50 billion in order to meet the challenges of COVID-19 situation. “The throw-forward amount in Provincial ADP 2020-21 for 2209 schemes has reached at Rs.564.00 billion as compared to Rs.606.0 billion for 2705 schemes in 2019-20,” he disclosed.

Special steps: keeping in view non-development and development expenditure priorities, the CM said that the major milestone of our objectives include exercise maximum austerity measures in non-development expenditures, provide maximum resources for Health sector, enlarge substantially social protection net through increased cash transfers to poverty inflicted people, Provide ways and means for employment generation as well sustaining economic activity for the poorest of the poor, in rural as well as urban areas, continuing focus on education, through increased allocations in financial year on development and non-development, despite huge resource constraints and fashion development spending in sync with the post Covid preferences with increased focus on Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects. 

COVID RELATED PRO-POOR SOCIAL PROETCTION:The Chief minister said that the outbreak of COVID-19 has nearly halted world economy- Pakistan is affected too. He said that the COVID-19 crisis has three sources of socio-economic impact for the population, they include Morbidity and mortality.Containment measures – such as general lockdown, work / travel restrictions and SOPs easing as well as restricting of lockdowns in response to disease spread, local and targeted lockdowns and Reduced global demand.while the socio-economic impact of the crisis will be felt across theboard, it is clear that particular segments of the population will be highly vulnerable to extreme distress and food insecurity. They are:  families facing morbidity and mortality;low-income families under quarantine / self-isolation / local lockdown;daily wage earners / casual self-employed during future phases of general lockdown and laid-off workers due to slowdown in global demand.

He said that in order to assess and manage potential post COVID-19 crisis, Finance department had a short study conducted to analyse severity of economic challenges to prepare a strategic plan for providing fiscal stimuli, economic resuscitation and social protection.

According to Mr Shah the current situation has affected every sector which contributes to economic growth. Agriculture sector contributes a significant portion to our economy is affected badly. In post COVID-19 scenario, unemployment is on the rise, businesses are at stand still and small medium-term enterprises need assistance for revival.

Rs34.2 bn package: For ensuring food security and reduced inflation and unemployment, the CM said that a strategy to encourage community driven economic activities, focusing on supporting home-based businesses, small and medium enterprises, a social protection and economic sustainability package of Rs.34.2 billion is proposed for the next financial year 2020-21.

Giving break-up of the package, the chief minister said Rs.20 billionwas proposed for cash transfers to individuals affected by COVID-19 under Sindh Peoples Support Program through Social Protection Strategic Unit, Social Welfare department.Rs.5.0 billion is allocated for a Soft Loan Program for Small & Medium Enterprises. The loan size would range from Rs.0.5 million to a maximum of Rs.2 million. Rs1 billion subsidy would be provided for purchase of Quality Rice Seeds to the farmers with land holding of 25 acres or less. Rs11billion allocated on account of wheat subsidy for the year 2020-21. The CM said that the amount has been enhanced from Rs.5 billion allocated in the current financial year 2019-20.

Rs. 1.0 billion will be provided on account of Fertilizer subsidy to the farmers with landholding of 25 acres or less. Rs.1 billion will  be provided as subsidy for Pesticides to small farmers with landholding of 25 acres or less.

Rs.3.0 billion is earmarked for a Small Business Support Fund in urban areas through Social Protection Strategist Unit, Social Welfare department. Loan size will be a maximum of Rs.0.20 million.

Allocation of Rs. 2.0 billion is proposed under Poverty Alleviation Program for small farmers/community-based loans in rural areas. Loan size of Rs.25,000 using poverty reduction score cards of ongoing poverty reduction program by utilizing services of SRSO, NRSP, Thar Deep etc through Social Protection Strategist Unit, Social Welfare department.Rs.500.0 million kept for Supporting Technology-based startups, incubators and accelerators through Investment Department.Rs.700 million is kept for Support of I.T interventions & Innovations Solutions in Goods and Accelerators through Investment department in consultation with I.T Department.Rs.500.0 million is proposed for Livestock breeding. Concerned department will be Livestock & Fisheries Department.

HEALTH: The chief minister said that health continues to remain the third largest sector with allocation for Current Revenue Expenditure of Rs.120 billion and Development, including Foreign Project Assistance at Rs.15.5 billion in financial year 2019-20.He added that Innext financial year, 2020-21 total Current Revenue Expenditure was budgeted at Rs.139.1 billion while allocation for development schemes was Rs.23.5 billion.

Some of the major development initiativesas the CM highlighted for the next financial year 2020-21 as follows:

The budget of Health Department is divided into two major segments, Health Services and Medical Education. The budget estimates for Health Department for financial year 2019-20 was Rs.120.486 billion which has been increased to Rs.139.178 billion for the next financial year 2020-21.

Rs.7billion has been allocated in next financial year 2020-21 for nine vertical Programs to combat/control Polio, TB, Aids, Lady Health Worker Program, Hepatitis control,expanded program for Immunization and others. These Programs have also been shifted from development to regular budget in next financial year 2020-21. Main features include Rs.559.4 million for TB Control Program, Rs.5.5 billion are allocated for a multi-sectoral Accelerated Action Plan for reduction of stunting & malnutrition in various departments including health. Rs.1.2 billion for Lady Health Worker (LHW) Program, Rs.1.9 billion  for Prevention & Control of Hepatitis in Sindh,Rs.267.9 million for Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Program, Rs.2.3 billion for EPI Program Sindh, Rs1 billion for 200 Bedded Infectious Disease Control Hospital at NIPA, Karachi, Rs.1.0 billion, Rs.1.0 billion for upgradation and operationalization of newly completed 22 Health facilities, Rs.234.6 million  for upgradation of Health care services for Lyari General Hospital Karachi and Rs.521.1 million for taken over health facilities of Proscribed organizations in Sindh.

During current financial year 2019-20, Rs.4 billion has been allocated as Special Grant for Indus Hospital Karachi. Out of this Rs.2 billion is for itscurrent operation and Rs.2 billion for Expansion of Indus Hospital. Rs.1.5 billion has been allocated for Purchase of plant and machinery in existing health facilities in Sindh and Rs.250 million has been allocated for purchase of furniture and fixtures for health facilities in Sindh.

Moreover, Rs.5.1 billion has been allocated to NICVD, Karachi, Rs.5.1 billion has been allocated to SICVD(Lyari Karachi, Larkana, Sehwan, Hyderabad, Sukkur, T.M.Khan, Shaheed Benaziabad, Khairpur, Mithi and Karachi), Rs.2.5 billion has been adopted for PPP Node Health department, Rs.3.6 billion has been adopted for the Institute of Pir Abdul Qadir Shah Jillani, Gambat, Rs.300.0 million has been allocated  to Institute of Ophthalmology& Visual Sciences Hyderabad Rs.600.0 million is allocated for Jacobabad Institute of Medical Sciences, Rs.1.7 billion has been allocated for SMBB Trauma Centre Karachi, Rs.300.0 million has been allocated for Shahdadpur Institute of Medical Sciences, Rs.5.6 billion has been allocated to SIUT, Rs.6.5 billion has been allocated to PPHI Sindh, Rs.500.0  million has been allocated to NIBD, Rs.900.0 million has been allocated for Child Life Foundation, Rs.100.0 million has been allocated for Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Karachi and Rs.365.0 million has been allocated to Health Care Commission, Karachi.

Grant in Aid for various health activities in Health Department Secretariat has also been proposed for the next financial year 2020-21. Main allocation include Rs.312.0 million as Grant-in-Aid for Remuneration of Polio Workers in Sindh, Rs.200 million for Grant-in-Aid for Kidney Center Karachi, Rs.431.1 million as Grant-in-Aid for Medicine of Blood Cancer Patients, Rs.160.000 million as Grant-in-Aid for Treatment of Thalassemia in various Health Facilities of Sindh, Rs.73.6 as Grant-in-Aid for ANF (MATRC) Centers (Karachi, Hyderabad & Sukkur), Rs.80.0 million as Grant-in-Aid for Strengthening of Chemico Bacteriological lab at Karachi & Sukkur, Rs.100.0 million as Grant-in-Aid for Cancer Foundation. Rs.383.8 million as Grant-in-Aid forExtension of CML Project for other Cancer Diseases, Rs.150.000 million as Grant-in-Aid for Dialysis in various Health Facilities of Sindh, Rs.100.000 million as Grant-in-Aid for Fatimid Foundation Sindh, Rs.1.0 billion as Grant-in-Aid for Endowment for Welfare of HIV Aids Patients, Rs.121.1  million as Grant-in-Aid for NIMRA Jamshoro, Rs.100.0 million as Grant-in-Aid for Nigahban to maintain Surgical Unit at Civil Hospital Karachi, Rs.150.0 million as Grant-in-Aid for Patient Welfare Association Karachi, Rs.250.0 million as Grant-in-Aid for Thar Foundation for establishment of Hospital @ Islamkot and Rs.183.6 million as Grant-in-Aid for Purchase of Hepatitis B Vaccine (Birth Dose).

Employment generation: According to the chief minister said that the Sindh government initiated a mega skill development program namely Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Youth Development Program in 2008-09. Given its success and importance for imparting skill development training, the Program was given permanent structure by passing Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Human Resource Research & Development Board Act. 2013.

He said in its twelve years of existence, the Board has trained approximately 404,235 Youth which includes 226,372 male and 177,863 females in various employable trades through public and private sectors.He added that 44 percent were female trainees, out of it 13 percenthas secured jobs and the great number has been self-employed.The great number of trainees are self-employed.

25,000 youth would be trained in various employable trades through private and public sectors in the next financial year 2020-21.The trades include artificial intelligence, drip irrigation, water treatment and purification etc.

The training is being imparted free of cost and the Govt. of Sindh bears all expenses. Every trainee is paid Rs.2,500 as stipend per month.

Sindh Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (STEVTA) extended accreditation to 26 institutes across Sindh in the current financial year 2019-20. The Authority also took other initiatives which include Women Financial Empowerment training to 600 female, entrepreneurship training of 33 teachers and 1600 trainees in collaboration with IBA, Karachi and introduction of Competency Based Training in 50 institutes.

For the next financial year 2020-21, various targets have been set to be achieved by STEVTA. Some are highlighted here which include providing training opportunities to 70,000 Youth with reference to COVID-19 situation, implementation of Kamyab-Jawan Hunarmand Pakistan Program in Collaboration with NAVTTC at 24 institutes and implementation of Modern Apprenticeship System.

EDUCATION: Murad Shah said: the education continues to be one of the key priority areas for Sindh government.

In order to manage education related functions in an efficient manner, enhance quality of education and provide better facilities at the educational institutions, Department of Education was divided into two departments, School Education and College Education Department (CED) in 2016. This bifurcation gave us an opportunity to micromanage the affairs with a better understanding of needs and aspirations of stakeholders.

Forthe next financial year 2020-21, the CM said that the budget of Education sector, in a macro perspective, has been increased to Rs.244.5 billion, compared with Rs.212.4 billionfor financial year 2019-20. Despite resource constraints,he said he has allocated funds which were 25.2 percent of Current Revenue Budget.

In ADP for the next financial year 2020-21, Education sector has been allocated Rs.21.1 billion for 397 on-going and 11 new, but un-approved schemes. An allocation of Rs.3.1 billion is provided under Foreign Projects Assistance (FPA) in addition to the provincial development budget resource allocation.

The School Education department has been allocated Rs.13.2 billion for 265 on-going schemes and 4 new schemes. Most of schemes are for “Up-grading existing government schools from Primary to Secondary levels, Rehabilitating and Improving schools, Providing Furniture, Basic and Missing Facilities, Construction & Re-construction of existing dangerous school buildings,” the CM said.

For College Education Department, Rs.3.71 billion has been proposed in ADP 2020-21 for 67 on-going and 2 new schemes. Rs.3.3 billion have been allocated for providing funds topublic sector universities for strengthening their educational infrastructure and for constructing new educational facilities.

According to the CM, Education sector is divided into three broad categories. These include School Education, College Education and Higher Educationi.e. university and professional education.

SCHOOL EDUCATION: Mr Shah said that importance of education at school level could never be understated. At this stage a child’s learning, guidance, trait building, and understanding of social norms, traditions, religion and social behavior are ready to be nurtured, he said and added`Early Childhood Education’wasthe need of the day, as a strong foundation set the pace for developing a child into a productive member of society.

He said that his government provided funds for school education from its limited resources. Moreover, international donors also chip in with their share towards improving quality of education in Sindh.

Schools data: The Sindh Government schools’data for 2019 shows total enrolment in Primary schools is 2,473,693, inclusive of 1,523,250 male students and 950,443 female students. A total of 690,528 students in Middle Classes include 433,550 boys and 256,978 girls. For Secondary Levels, total enrolment is 382,558 out of which 248,398 are boys and 134,160 are girls. In Higher Secondary Levels, total enrolment is 129,118 out of which 90,304 are boys and 38,814 are girls. Total enrolment at all levels of schools’ education is 4,561,140 out of which 2,812,000 are boys and 1,749,140 are girls.

Rs1b for EMOs: The chief minister said that the Sindh government has adopted various key indicators for need assessments and performance evaluation. These indicators help understand needs and accordingly assign resources where needed. For the next financial year 2020-21.Rs.1billion has been allocated as grant in aid for Education Management Organization forhanding over management of various schools to EMOs.

The government has allocated Rs.6.6 billion for purchase of furniture and fixture, Rs.6.1 billion for new activities with the help of International Donor Agencies, Rs.2.3 billion for free text books, Rs.1.8 billion for School Management Committee to meet the requirements of schools, Rs.5 billion for repair and maintenance of school buildings, Rs.480 million for Emergent Need Fund for meeting new initiatives under COVID-19 and Rs.663.4 million for educational assets of proscribed organizations of Sindh taken over by Government of Sindh in budget for the next financial year 2020-21.

Achievement in education: According to the CM Sindh, in School Education, achievementsin the financial year 2019-20 include profiling of schools, providing essential facilities to 1606 primary, elementary and high schools in 29 districts, groundwork for making 15 English Medium & 6 Comprehensive Schools operational under PPP Node through EMOs from next academic year, 10 more English Medium andnine Comprehensive High Schools in ninedistricts to be completed with all facilities of science / IT labs and libraries etc. Also, establishment of 2000 new early Childhood Care &Education class rooms, training of 2500 early Childhood Education teachers and printing of Rs.4.93 million sets of text books to all schools at Taluka and district levels is in process.

New targets in education: In the next financial year 2020-21 , CM said we have set a number of targets which will provide requisite infrastructure, solar system / IT Science labs and auditoriums in 35 existing schools. It is planned to increase enrolment in Post Primary Schools to 181,047 approximately, in schools run under Sindh Education Foundation (SEF), rolling out 300 schools in SEF Introducing Smart Teaching and Learning program, intervention of education, employment and empowerment of 15000 Youth in collaboration with UNDP, planning of establishment of 10 schools on priority basis under long term institutional engagement withThe Citizen Foundation for developing / managing approximately5000 schools in a 10 year period under SEFs subsidy model and supply of 4.79 million sets that is. 239.4 million text books to students in all districts of the province.

GIS based exercise for clustering of schools at Union Council level is being completed for the province to identify around 1800 main/hub schools initially for resolving access issues, specifically for girls. School Education and Literacy department has identified school within cells of 2 kilometers radius. Around 3200 cell schools have been identified. These cell schools will perform multiple functions with financial and administrative powers.

Rs9.5 bn for SEF: Mr Shah said that during the current financial year 2019-20, Rs.9.5 billion were allocated for Sindh Education Foundation.He Same amount was repeated in the next year budget 2020-21 of Sindh Education Foundation.

SEF schools’ current enrollment is 450,000 students which is expected to increase to 550,000 in the next financial year 2020-21. Moreover, 200 new schools and 200 new Technical Training Centers will be added to the portfolio of the Foundation.

As a major arm of the Sindh government for Public Private Partnerships in education sector, Sindh Education foundation, is handling a portfolio of over 2,300 schools, spread across the deepest rural pockets of Sindh. The SEF roll has an enrollment of over half a million students. Though the year 2019-20 was largely dedicated to strengthening and improving programs and policies, the Foundation has made strategicinvestments for providing quality education services/facilities in its assisted schools/centers throughout the province to ensure sustained progress. Moreover, in 2019-20, number ofpost primary schools increased to 470 which are catering to an overall enrollment of around 164,588 students.

College Education: The chief minister said that there were total 146 boys’colleges,131girls colleges and 50 Co-Education Colleges in the province of Sindh under administrative control of College Education Department. Total student enrolment is 436,980. 

Education in covid situation: According to the CM, in order to manage college education in a COVID-19perspective, College Education Department is planning to launcha program of distance learning by establishing computer labs, centralized teaching and utilizing the services of web services. For enhancing technology-based interventions in College Education Department, Rs.451million has been allocated in the next financial year 2020-21. Moreover, Rs.300million has been allocated as Endowment Fund for NED University of Engineering & Technology Karachi. And Rs.30 million are kept as grant-in-aid for Government College for Information Technology GuruNagar, Hyderabad. 

Social distancing makes restriction on movements imperative. COVID-19 has affected school going children too. Several strategies are being explored and world leading educational solution providers are being contacted for identifying workable teaching solutions. College Education Department has also planned to promote science and technology by holding science and technology competitions and exhibitions for college students. Top science and technology projects will be rewarded by the Government of Sindh.

Universities & Boards:Mr Shah said that his government promoted academic and research activities in higher educational institutions. In the current financial year 2019-20,sufficient funds were disbursed in public sector universities as Grant-in-Aid. Education and Boards were also provided funds to pay examination fee which was earlier required to be paid by the students.

Project of establishment of Benazir Bhutto Chair at Shah Abdul Latif University Khairpur is expected to be completed in the next financial year 2020-21. In the next financial year 2020-21 the allocation of Rs.5 billion is proposed for grant to Universities, Rs. 2 billion to educational boards and Rs. 1.2 billion for scholarship to position holders/A-1 grader in Sindh. Besides Rs.392million are allocated for various Cadet Colleges and Rs.259 million for various public schools. Rs.50.0 million is proposed for Performance Incentive under ‘Program for Results’.

The chief minister said that efforts were made to reduce educational loss due to lock down in wake of COVID-19. Most of the Universities have started preparations for conducting online classes.

He said initiatives launched for containing the impact of COVID-19 were as follows:

Jinnah Sindh Medical University has started online course of COVID-19 for doctors and health care workers. Faculty of Pathology of the University provided technical support for establishment of Level-III Corona Laboratory to JPMC. It has been functional since 20th April, 2020.

Liaquat University of Health and Medical Sciences Jamshoro, purchased 400 PCR kits and started free tests of Corona suspected cases. Presently, Diagnostic and Research Laboratory of University performs 1000 to 6000 tests per day. It has also started Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan approved trial of Convalescent Plasma-19 collection. Efforts for COVID-19 sequencing to identity the Mutation, will help University in developing vaccine against Corona Virus.

Lab with COVID-19 testing capacity of 800 tests per day was established at Panjwani Centre for Molecular Medicine, University of Karachi with assistance of the Sindh government.

Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University, Shaheed Benazirabad, and University of Sindh, Jamshoro prepared sanitizer liquid bottles and distributed in hospitals and district administration offices. Quaid-e-Awam University of Engineering Science and Technology Nawabshah manufactured walk-through gates which were donated to various organizations and Civil Hospital in the city.

Quarantine and Isolation Centerswere established at Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical University, Larkana Arija Campus and Larkana for suspected / infected COVID-19 patients. The University facilitated establishment of 22 bedded ICU at Oncology ward at CMC Hospital Larkana for treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Agriculture get Rs14.8 billion:

Kharif crop may sustain loss:Talking about agriculture sector, Mr Shah said that it [agriculture sector]was faced with a double threat this year. In addition to theCOVID-19 crisis, and an existential threat of Locust is looming on economic horizon of Sindh. As a result of Locust activity, it is expected that Kharif Crop 2020 may sustain 303,109 tons loss in yield, and for Rabi crop 2020-21, it is estimated that it may sustain a loss of approximately 340,077 tons.

In this potentially catastrophic scenario, the Sindh government is determined to improve the conditions in Agriculture Sector by increasing the overall Budget to Rs.14. 8 billion in the next financial year 2020-2021, in comparison with allocation of Rs.10.6 billion in the financial year 2019-2020.

The number of field teams will be increased for improved and extensive surveillance, and for more effective control operations. The number of vehicles, and vehicle/tractor mounted solo power sprayers, and Hand Sprayers will be increased for countering locust influx. GPS devices will be provided to field teams for enhancing accuracy of surveillances and efficient locust control operations.

In order to strengthen and increase overall output for keeping economy rolling,the chief minister said that various steps have been taken. Some important steps to be highlighted include earmarking Rs.440million to repair machinery currently in depleted condition so as to utilize it for a better harvest, and Rs.110 million for repair and maintenance of water courses to improve agriculture sector. Machinery worth millions is sitting in depleted condition at different workshops of Sindh. In order to functionalize / repair that machinery, Rs.200 million is kept in the budget to utilize it for better harvest.

Accelerated Action Plan for reduction of stunting is a DLI based program running under Agriculture sector in coordination with World Bank to control Malnutrition & Stunting and Government of Sindh has allocated Rs.450 million.

Overall allocation for Agriculture sector is proposed at Rs.5.5 billion in ADP 2020-21 for 73 schemes of Agriculture, Food, Forest & Wildlife and Livestock & Fisheries Departments. Besides the provincial development budget resources, an allocation of Rs.8.1 billion is provided under foreign projects assistance.

The CM said that the World Bank funded Sindh Agriculture Growth Project (Livestock Component) has an investment of Rs.2.6 billion under which installation of 60 Milk Chillers, Establishment of Artificial Insemination Training Centre,Tandojam and Rehabilitation of 78 rain / flood affected veterinary institutes have been completed which needs further expedition. However, a substantial investment of Rs.7.5 billion million has also been made in Accelerated Action Plan on malnutrition in both sub-sectors.

Important targets achieved in this sector in the current financial year 2019-20, they include developed / registered varieties of onion, lady finger, rice and mango crops, production of 9,000 plantlets through Tissue culture Technology in Laboratory and provided to growers on subsidized rate, produced quality seed of crops for further multiplication, analysis of 23,949 and 7,091 samples of soil and water for their fertility and suitability status and establishment of 22 Agro-Mach Technology Services centers (ATSC).

Targets for 2020-21:Mr Shah said thatfor the next financial year 2020-21 targets have also been set to be achieved. Some to be highlighted include acclimatization and adaptation of tropical fruits, to Launch Bio- Fortification Technology Project to combat zinc deficiency in wheat and rice crops, establishment of Sindh institute for Bio Technology and Genetic Engineering, establishment of Soil Micro-biopsy and Micro nutrient Research laboratory at orchard Nutrient, Management Research Institute, Mirpurkhas and to launch campaign. “Grow More Cotton”.

To launch Skill Development and management program for Orchard and Vegetables farm workers, to establish Cold Chain Management system to reduce post-harvest losses for perishable horticulture produce, provision of solar pumps and solar tube wells to the farmers on subsidized rate, completion of construction of 50 water storage tanks under “Rain Fed Water Reservoirs in Barani areas of Sindh” ADP scheme and launching of Modern Agro – Hydrological Techniques Project to improve crop yield.  

It has also been planned to establish new Fruit & Vegetable markets in different districts of Sindh through Public Private Partnership mode.

With assistance from the World Bank, Sindh Agricultural Growth Project (SAGP) has been launched in the province. Equipment and machinery were provided and distributed in various districts of the province in areas of date palm, chili, rice and onion crops.

The CM said that it has been planned that under SAGP, different types of equipment will be provided for value addition. These include 400 Paddy threshers, 400 Rotavators, 500 Autoloaders, 500 Tractor trolleys and 20,000 Battery operated Power prayers.

He said that 68,000 farmers were trained on Good Agricultural Practices out of which 4,000 are female farmers. It resulted 10% increase in chili and date yields. Under Sindh Irrigated Agricultural Productivity Enhancement 418 water courses were improved in 2019-20 and 619 water courses are under process of improvement. Drip Irrigation System was installed in 84 farms which covers 1265 acres. 68 farms are under installation with coverage of 1269 acres, 81 Deep Ripping equipment’s were delivered to farmers / service providers.

Accelerated Action Plan for reduction of stunting and malnutrition throughout Sindh Province is a Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture Project. Under this project research and surveys (social mobilization) were conducted in seven districts and seven seminars at district and at provincial level, were conducted in 2019-20. Capacity building of Agriculture Community was also done in the current financial year. 

The chief minister said that While handling COVID-19, we met another national emergency when Locust reappeared in Sindh. It first showed its signs in May, 2019 when it was promptly communicated to Federal Government. Sindh Agriculture Department immediately started ground spray operations in close co-ordination with Plant Protection Department.

In 2020, locust swarms first reported in district Ghotki on 8th April 2020 and Kashmore on 12th April 2020. Their presence was reported in 22 Districts of Sindh including Jacobabad, Shikarpur, Larkano, Kashmore, Ghotki, Sukkur, Khairpur, Matiari, Dadu, Karachi (Gadap& Malir), Jamshoro, Hyderabad, Badin, Tando Muhammad Khan, TandoAllahyar, Thatta, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot, Tharparkar, Shaheed Benazir Abad, Sanghar, Nausheroferoze and KamberShahdadkot. So far, 35,576 hectares area of various crops including cotton, vegetables, sugarcane, fodder, chilies and others have been damaged.

There was slow response from the Federal Government and Sindh Agriculture Department had to take immediate steps. Agriculture department procured 1,000 had sprayers, 300 Solo power sprayers, 6 Tractor mounted sprayers and 70 Vehicle mounted sprayers with 25 vehicles. Another fleet of 21 vehicles has also been included. Besides, 125,000 litresLimda EC pesticides is purchased and is being used.  A total area of 7,389,757 hectares has been surveyed and 38,893 hectares affected area was sprayed by 13th June 2020.

Survey and Control Operation in cropping and desert area is being carried out with the coordination of Pak Army. Department of Plant Protection Government of Pakistan assisted in control operation in district Ghotki, Kashmore, Khairpur and Sukkur.

We plan to increase number of field teams for extensive surveillance & control operations.Number of vehicles along with vehicle/ tractor mounted, solo power sprayers & Hand Sprayers would be increased for handling influx. GPS devices will be provided to field teams for reporting accuracy of surveillance & efficient locust control operations.

The Sindh government has demanded six aircrafts, ULV sprayers, pesticides including ULV, Lambda Cyhalothrine Emulsified concentrate (EC) in sufficient quantity & deployment of necessary field teams from Federal Government as this is a federal mandate. Government of Pakistan has promised continued aerial operation.

The Federal Government has devised National Action Plan with joint efforts of Federal and Provincial Governments. It is aimed at destroying the hatched eggs along with existing breeding places. Stage wise mechanism has been developed to prevent the re-growth and re-hatching of locust in the coming season Total cost of the Plan is Rs.930.9 million. Share of Government of Pakistan is Rs.204 million whereas share of the Sindh government is Rs.726.8 million.  There are three stage of the Plan, Winter – spring Breeding from Jan-June 2020,Summer Monsoon from July-Dec 2020, Winter-spring Breeding from Jan-June 2021.

Works & Services dept get Rs14.8bn – ROAD SECTOR: According to CM his government aims to develop safe, swift and reliable transportation infrastructure in Sindh. To boost this sector an allocation of Rs.6.4 billion is allocated against 17 major schemes. Transport Department has been mandated to upgrade the Vehicle Inspection and Certification System and update Motor Vehicle Ordinance.

The Government is committed for the Revival of Karachi Circular Railway Project Costing Rs.207.5 billion for the redressing the transport issues of Karachi. The Government of Sindh has also allocated Rs.3 billion for construction of underpasses and overhead bridges over railway crossing along KCR route, BRTS Orange line, 4 km corridor, connecting BRTS Green line, is expected to be completed in June, 2020. Similarly, BRTS Green line, financed by Federal government, is expected to be completed by December, 2020. However, the Integrated Intelligence Ticketing System (IITS), Bus Operation and Fare Collection System is being taken up by the Sindh government under PPP mode. In the next year, two new projects BRT Red Line (29 km), at an estimated cost of Rs.74.00 billion, and BRT yellow line (22 km), at estimated cost of Rs.61 billion are included in ADP 2019-20 with the assistance of ADB and the World Bank.

In terms of fiscal resources, Mr Shah said that Rs.36.5 billion was proposed as an allocation of in ADP 2020-21 for over 500 road schemes. The portfolio includes road related schemes of Works &Services Department and Local Government Department. Beside the provincial development budget resources, an allocation of Rs.165 million is provided under foreign projects assistance.

Rs.15.1 billion was allocated for the current financial year 2019-20. For the next financial year 2020-21 Rs.14.8 billionis kept in the budget for Works & Services department.

The funds amounting to Rs.4.1 billion were allocated for repair and maintenance of Buildings & Structure of Government of Sindh including Rs.2.3 billion for Office Buildings and Rs.1.6 billion for Residential Buildings in the current financial year 2019-20. Moreover, Rs.3.8 billion were allocated for repair and maintenance of infrastructure of roads in Sindh in the current financial year 2019-20.

413 Schemes with allocation of Rs.24 billion are under execution in current financial year 2019-2020. Details are:

With the assistance of Asian Development Bank, Works & Services Department has completed rehabilitation works on roads under “Sindh Provincial Road Improvement Project” for $97.8 million. It was 90percent ADB Loan and 9.14 percent Government of Sindh share. The roads are67 kilometersTando M. Khan road forRs.3.3 billion. The 54 kilometersDigri – Naukot road ofRs.3.3 billion. The 64 kilometers Khyber – Sanghar via Tando Adam road of Rs.2.8 billion. The 63-kilometresSanghar – Mirpurkhas viaSindhri road of Rs.2.4 billion. 36 kilometersSheranpur – Ratodero road of Rs.1.4 billion. The 44 kilometresThul – Kandhkhot road with cost of Rs.2.06 billion. Rs.4.09billion saved from above project, were allocated to other roads of the project during 2018-19.

The department has also achieved other targets in the current financial year 2019-20 which include out of 130 ongoing schemes 98 schemes will be completed by June 2020 and completion of around 150 ongoing schemes during next financial year 2020-21.

Irrigation get Rs20.1bn: Murad Ali Shah said thatAgriculture sector depends upon strong Irrigation System. Sindh Province comprising of three Barrages viz Gudu, Sukkur and Kotri Barrages with Canal System provides assured irrigation supplies for a cultivable command area in Sindh. Besides, the system also provides drinking water for several cities and towns. Flood protective infrastructure consisting of Bunds and allied river training work is the most important sector of the system.

During current financial year 2019-20 Rs.23.0 billion were allocated for Irrigation Sector for Non-Development Side which was reduced to Rs.17.2 billion through Revised Estimates 2019-20.

The barrages and downstream irrigation system is over half a century old and has completed its useful life, therefore needs significant rehabilitation. The Government therefore attaches importance to the rehabilitation of all the three Barrages, Guddu, Sukkur &Kotri and old irrigation systems. In wake of energy crisis, the diesel operated tube wells are being converted to solar/wind-power to bring the arable land under cultivation. Further, Government plans to develop high efficiency irrigation systems, conserving water to cultivate additional 30,000 acres of land. Initiatives have also been taken to provide water for Thar Coal Projects for generation of electricity, improve water supply to urban cities, and strengthen flood mitigation measures.

Irrigation sector will be allocated development budget of Rs.20.1 billion in ADP 2020-21 for 198 on-going and 18 new un-approved schemes. The portfolio includes irrigation related schemes of Irrigation Department, Lining of Main Canals, Matching Allocation schemes and Thar Coal Infrastructure projects. Beside the provincial development budget resources, an allocation of Rs.6.95 billion is provided under foreign projects assistance.

Currently 106 schemes are in progress and targeted to be completed by June 2020. Among them 15 schemes pertain to lining of channels, smooth supply of irrigation water to tail-enders and improve the irrigation & drainage system in province.  33 schemes of lining of canals will line 632 miles of canals funded by ADB.

In irrigation sector, main focus was onCanal improvement & Drainage Works aimed at improving operational efficiency of irrigation water and delivering equitable assured share of water at the tail. Others include Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Sweet Water Project for Thar (Umerkot to Keetari), Makli–Farash Link Canal Project supply water to Thar Canal, Makli-Farash link Canal Project – Supplying Water to Thar Coal, Installation of Solar Tubewell in Sindh, Lining 1396.327 miles of Distributaries from provincial resources, construction of 64 small dams, recharge dams & delay action dams under ADP / PSDP and 15 small Gabion structures across various Nais in Nagarparkar& Kohistan area.

Stored water from hill torrents of Karoonjhar&Khirthar Hills will irrigate 179,244 acres in drought affected areas of Tharparkar and provide water for people and livestock. On the completion of small storage dams in the drought affected area Nagarparkar water will be available for people, livestock and agriculture for 14,900 acres.  

Local Govt gets Rs78bn  grants: Talking about local government, the CM said, We believe in democracy and democratic norms. We believe in strong political and democratic institutions. Our Government brought local government system of the dictator under Sindh Local Ordinance 2001 to an end, and enacted the Sindh Local Government Act 2013 passed by Provincial Assembly of Sindh.

He said his government worked closely with local governments to solve the problems of people of the province at their doorsteps. The Government of Sindh in order to strengthen the working and to cater to the needs of all local councils from time to time, has enhanced the share of local councils. The grant to local bodies of Sindh allocated for the year 2019-20 was Rs.74.5 billion, and Rs.67.5 billion has been released to all local councils by 30th May 2020.

The Sindh Government has enhanced the block allocation for grants to local bodies in Sindh from Rs.74.5 billion of the current financial year 2019-20 to Rs.78.0 billion, increased by 5 percent for the next financial year 2020-21.

KMC: The Sindh government is sharing the financial burden of KMC. The funds are released on monthly basis on account of regular OZT share, regular pension amount and regular grant-in-aid amounting to Rs.160 million, Rs.430 million and Rs.215.4 million respectively. The total amount is Rs.805.5 million. The annual total amount stood at 10.0 billion. This figure includes Rs.293.2 million, one-time special grant in aid.

KDA: The Regular Grant-in-Aid amounting to Rs.204.0 million is being released to KDA on monthly basis to meet out salary/Pension and other Non-Development expenditure. Funds released to KDA during current financial year 2019-20 are Rs.2.4 billion, Rs.470.7 million on account of regular grant in aid and one -time special grant in aid respectively.

KWSB: The Sindh government is also paying monthly electricity charges of KW&SB since 2016. Approximately Rs.6.0 billion are the expenditure as this account in 2019-20.

Rs.34.7 billion were allocated for 315 on-going schemes and 93 new schemes in the current financial year 2019-20. The schemes include Greater Karachi Water Sewerage Project (S-III) and Greater Karachi Water Supply Project (K-IV).  Total expenditure incurred on these schemes till 15th May, 2020 was Rs.11.4 billion. Main emphasis was given to complete on-going schemes which had reached on advance level of implementation. The matter is being pursued with Federal Government to release its share.

Rs.39.0 billion for 398 were allocated for water supply & sanitation schemes of Public Health Engineering and Local Government Departments in ADP 2019-20. Some of the important schemes includes for Elimination of Sewage Discharging in Fresh Water Bodies and for Rehabilitation of 494 Non-Functional Water supply and sewerage schemes of WASA, Hyderabad. These schemes made cumulated expenditure of Rs.11.0 billion as on 5th June, 2020, this may increase by the end of June.

Rs.19.3 billion has been allocated for more than 300 schemes of water supply & sanitation of Local Government and Public Health Engineering Departments. In addition a mega project “Karachi Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project (KWSSIP)” for KW&SB has been approved at total cost of Rs.3.4 billion with financial assistance of World Bank.

SaafSuthro Sindh (SSS) Program has been conceived as an additional component of the Sindh Inter-Sectoral Nutrition Support Program (NSP). The common objective of both programs is to improve the nutritional status of Sindh particularly rural communities, through sanitation interventions. This programaims to achieve an Open Defecation Free (ODF) Sindh by 2025.

SaafSuthro Sindh is being implemented with the assistance of World Bank in 13 districts of Sindh. Project will cover 50 percent of the rural population in each district, or about 2 million people. At least half of the beneficiaries under Saaf Suthro Sindh (SSS) will be women.

The World Bank is assisting in this program. Its total cost is Rs.3.4 billion with Government of Sindh share as Rs.900 million and share of World Bank as Rs.2.5 billion.

The various activities have been adjusted to address COVID-19. These include provision of safe water and basic sanitation services to water scarce villages; a robust social mobilization and behavior change component inclusive of health aspects and Hygiene advocacy in public schools and construction of latrines with hand washing stations.

The Sindh government has initiated Competitive and Livable City of Karachi (CLICK) project with assistance of the World Bank. Its total cost is Rs.33.6 billion. It is aimed at improving infrastructure in Karachi and capacity building of all the councils of metropolitan City. The project will be completed by 2025.The project has three major components: Improvement of Capacity for Infrastructure Improvement of LCs of Karachi under Local Government Department with project component amounting to US $ 181.86 million.Improvement of Urban Property Tax System through Excise, Taxation and Narcotics Department with project component amounting to US $ 40.4 million and Sindh Investment Portal through Investment Department with project component amounting to US $ 17.2 Million

Karachi Water & Sewerage Services Improvement Project (KWSSIF) is project for infrastructure development of the age-old facilities of Water & Sewerage Services in Karachi. It is also aimed at revamping the entire institutional infrastructure to make it a financially viable customer-oriented world class water utility of Pakistan.

The total investment committed for the project is $1.6 billion over a span of 12 years. During this period the entire infrastructure needs of Karachi will be met through World Bank, AIIB and Government of Sindh investment at the ratio of 40:40:20. However the contribution of Government of Sindh in governance and institutional reforms is 100%. 

Social Welfare get Rs27.1 bn – Two lost and Found Children Centers to be established: The CM said, the government of Sindh is taking lead in strengthening of Social Welfare Department and its allied facilities to mitigate the suffering of poor in prevailing circumstances due to COVID-19. Therefore, budget allocation of social welfare department has been enhanced from Rs.1.8 billion to 27.1 billion in the next financial year 2020-21 with an overall increase of 1360 percent. As mentioned earlier, Rs.20 billion have been allocated for cash transfers through Sindh Peoples Support Program. Other features are given as under:

Establishment of SOS Homes (Shelter Homes) at Divisional level with Rs.100million,  Rs.3 million has been allocated for Dar UL- Khushnud, Rs.5 million has been earmarked for Sindh Charity Registration commission, Creation of two LOST AND FOUND CHILDREN CENTERS at the cost of Rs.50.0 million at Shanti Nagar and Malir Karachi, provision of 10 New Vehicles to Directors, DarulAmans and DarulAtfals at the cost of Rs.12.5 million,increase of Rs.1.0 million Grant-in-Aid to T.B Patient Association Dadu and Ghambat, provision of Rs.7.0 million to beef up the security of DarulAmans, Rs.30.0 million as Grant-in-Aid to Sindh Senior Citizen Welfare Funds has been allocated, Rs.15.0 million has been allocated as the financial Assistance to the families of deceased employees.

Mr Shah said that we initiated various development schemes which were under completion. These include establishment & strengthening of Darul Atfal & Rehabilitation of Street Children through Civil Society Organization Korangi, Karachi with 300 number of beneficiaries. Others are establishment & Strengthening of Darul Aman at Mirpurkhas & Jacobabad with 100 number of beneficiaries, establishment of Rehabilitation Center for Drug Addicts, Karachi with 40 number of beneficiaries and repair, renovation and improvement of Services of Darul Aman Sukkur.

The chief minister said that In West Pakistan Family Courts Act 1964, the following amendment has been made as per the decision of Sindh Cabinet Meeting held on 21-11-2019” “6A matters pertaining to return of child under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.1980”. 

In next financial year 2020-21 all Non- Governmental Organizations/ Non-Profitable Organizations will be registered under Sindh Charity Registration Act, 2019.

Women Development dept get Rs206.2 m for new schemes:  According to population census of Pakistan, 2017, total population of Sindh is 47,886,051. Out of this 22,956,478 consists of women, which is 47 percent of the total population. Women are playing momentous and pivotal role in every walk of life, the CM said.

The Government of Sindh is especially focusing on welfare and development of women. We have launched various initiatives for providing women equal social economic, political and legal rights.

The Government of Sindh is taking lead in strengthening Women Development Department, in prevailing circumstance created due to COVID-19, thus increase of around Rs.5. million in operating expenses, increase of Rs.2. million in Law charges at Directorate of Women Development Shaheed Benazirabad and introduction of Honorarium of Rs.3 million for the Members of Sindh Commission on the Status of Women is proposed for the next financial year 2020-21. 

Due to Covid-19 the utilization of funds was badly affected;thus targets could not be achieved as per plan. However, in this sector achievements so far made in the current financial year 2019-20 include Implementation of Child Marriage Restraint Act. 2013, Project for Improvement of Livelihood and Wellbeing of Female Home-Based Workers with Assistance of Japan Cooperation International Agency.

The CM said that new legislation is in process on Sindh Dowry Bill 2017, Sindh Acid Control and Adoption of Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act at provincial level.

In the next financial year 2020-21 total 10 on-going & new schemes have been included with an allocation of Rs.206.250 million and also one new scheme namely” Providing of scotty for working women in Sindh” with an estimated cost of Rs.90 million proposed to be included in ADP 2020-21. It is expected that targets and goals of Development scheme will be achieved in the next year as per plan.

Minorities: Talking about minorities, Murad Shah said, Minorities are integral part of the population of Pakistan, including the province of Sindh. They have the freedom to live life in accordance with their respective religion and customs. The Government of Sindh has been taking steps time by time for welfare and prosperity of the minorities so that they may play their role in the development and progress of the province of Sindh.

Rs.855.6 million was allocated for the financial year 2019-20. For the next financial year Rs.1.5 billion is kept in the budget.

The funds amounting to Rs.750 million were allocated in the financial year 2019-20 as Grant in aid for welfare of Minorities in Sindh. These funds are disbursed through a Committee consisting of members of Minorities for various purposes such as Medical Treatment, Jahez (dowry), Marriages, deserving people and Repair and Maintenance, and Construction of places of worship for Minorities. 

Moreover, the Rs.638.5 million were allocated in the current financial year 2019-20 for Renovation / Repair & Maintenance of Buildings of Structure of Minorities of 102 Sites / Temples / Satsang / Graveyards / Dharamshalas / Church Building / prayer halls, etc, related to Minorities.

PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP: The chief minister said that with Public Private Partnership interventions private sector and non-governmental organizations have been involved in public sector reforms in public financial management, Health, Works & Services and Education Departments which has improved governance, access and quality of service delivery.

Malir Expressway Project:As per commitment in the budget speech of 2019-20, the Sindh government has again fulfilled its promise by launching the biggest infrastructure project for Karachi, The Malir Expressway, a 38.75 KMs controlled access six-lane project under Public Private Partnership. Transparent and effective international bidding process was carried out which promoted healthy competition and the project was awarded at a bid price of Rs.27.5 billion resulting in savings of billions of rupees to the provincial government. It is expected to reduce the travel time from over an hour to 25 minutes. The project shall not just decongest Karachi city but provide a safer means ofcommunication, save infrastructure wear and tear and usher an era of speedydevelopment in the outskirts of Karachi.

Ghotki-Kandhkot Bridge:Mr Shah said that he was pleased to inform that the construction works of Ghotki-Kandhkot Bridge, the longest bridge over river Indus measuring 2.175 Kilometers, has been started and the project would Insha Allah be completed in two and half years’ time period. “It will reduce the travel time significantly as the total distance between both locations from 151km to 30 km approximately,” he said. The construction of bridge will create enormous opportunities and economic benefits for Ghotki and Kandhkot which together host one of the largest oil and gasfields, power projects and fertilizer plants in the country.

Education Management Organizations (EMOs):After completion of 5th Procurement Cycle during current financial year, the operations and management of 139 public sector schools (in a cluster model) with more than 70,000 students has been outsourced to reputable private sector organizations under PPP mode who are providing quality education and cooperatively working along with teachers, schools’ staff, school management committees, surrounding communities and local tiers of the School Education and Literacy Department.

This reform supports the Government compliance with Article 25-A of the Constitution of Pakistan, and the “Sindh Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2013” passed by the Government of Sindh.

Health Facilities:Mr Shah said that 161 outsourced health facilities under PPP mode have been serving approx. 6 million patients annually. In addition to that, four state of the art Regional Blood Centers (RBCs) under PPP mode are serving and supplying blood to the overall users on uninterrupted basis during this pandemic situation where thalassemia patients are particularly facing scarcity of blood.

Mr Murad Ali Shah said that his government has developed a robust PPP Project Pipeline of which key projects for the next financial year 2020-2021 includes:

Waste Water Treatment Plant at TP-1:Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, with the assistance of Public Private Partnership Unit and Office of the Public Private Partnership (OPPP) of Asian Development Bank, is developing a 50 MGD Municipal Waste Water Recycling Project in Karachi. The project will be first of its kind in Pakistan whereby a concessionaire will convert the sewerage water into industrial use and take over the responsibility of the water supply to industries in SITE Area, carry out the operations & maintenance, up-gradation, replacement and establishment of required water supply infrastructure of KWSB’s water treatment plant at TP-1.

Supply of Industrial Water from Nabisar to Vajhair:After becoming a key strategic partner in the mining project, the Sindh government took upon itself to provide key infrastructure which is a necessary pre-requisite to conducting mining and power generation activities. The biggest hurdle in the establishment of new Power Plants with generating capacity of 1590 MW in Thar block 2 was to provide industrial grade water. To address this problem, the GoS is launching the biggest water supply project for the power plants under Public Private Partnership mode. The project is to be completed in record time of 1 year after the financial close.

Urban Road Karachi:Mr Shah said that Keeping in view the economic significance of Karachi, combined with the losses in economic productivity caused by the deplorable traffic conditions on key routes near Karachi Port, the Government of Sindh has initiated procurement of consultancy services for development and rehabilitation / up-gradation of three road routes namely, Link Road for Korangi; Expressway from Mauripur Road to Y-Junction; and Interchange at ICI Bridge. The purpose is to relieve severe traffic congestion that arises at peak hours at the aforementioned key routes. Moreover, the proposed Link Road for Korangi carries strategic importance as it will provide an alternate route to Korangi and serve as an emergency access route for the Southern Air Command of the PakistanAir Force.

Dhabeji Special Economic Zone (DSEZ):Procurement for landmark project of Dhabeji Special Economic Zone (DSEZ) on 1530 acres of land is under process. DSEZ is expected to bring in stimulus with manifold benefits not only to the province of Sindh but also national economy. These benefits will include job creation, industrial development, investment flows in the country, increase in exports and notable impact on national GDP. In addition to influx of private finance and investment flow, the project is expected to generate notable income flows for Government of Sindh in the form of share in revenues.

Indus Hospital Badin: Following outsourcing of DHQ Badin to Indus Hospital, it has witnessed remarkable improvement in service delivery and exponential growth in patient’s turnover. The facility successfully reports praiseworthy output indicators including (i) 990 OPD + Emergency cases per day; (ii) 30,000 IPD cases on annual basis inclusive of surgeries & deliveries and (iii) 100,000 diagnostic cases on annual basis. The services of Indus Hospital also include facility management which comprises SOPs related to waste management, janitorial services and maintenance of health facility.

The Blood Bank in Civil Hospital Badin was outsourced to Indus Hospital in June, 2016. Itarranges annually 23,105 units of safe blood to patients without replacement donors.

Marble City Project:Mr Shah said the Government of Sindh is also working on development of Marble city which is industry-specific SEZ. The project is expected to flourish industry of stone, granite and marble in Sindh. Government of Sindh has earmarked 300 acres of land near Northern Bypass for this project.

Technology Park at NED University: This is era of ‘Knowledge Economy’. Developed nations are investing in the promotion of technical education and research & development. Considering such developments, Government of Sindh aims to develop Technology Park at NED University Karachi.

Non-Formal Education (NFE): This is a very significant project that will cater to approx. 4 million out of school children and will bring them into the formal education system through the accelerated education program.

It is pertinent to mention here that mega projects like Malir Expressway, Waste Water Treatment Plant at TP-1, Urban Road Initiatives in Karachi, Dhabeji Special Economic Zone and Technology Park at NED University will generate significant investment opportunities for the province, notwithstanding secondary positive impacts such as job creation, increase in tax revenues and improved quality of life for the people of Sindh.

Considering the economic implications arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, Public Private Partnerships offers the only sustainable solution to offset the fiscal constraints and resource scarcity as many more projects in PPPs shall ensure transparency, efficiency, innovation, private capital mobilization, improved service delivery and creation of a system of deferred payments against upfront infrastructure development. So far the PPP Project Portfolio has been more than Rs.75.0 billion and going forward Insha Allah in next two years we intend to develop projects under PPP worth Rs.120.0billion which is a great support in addition to ADP allocation.

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