KARACHI: The government of Sindh has proposed an increase in the overall budget allocation for the agriculture sector from Rs14.8 billion this fiscal year to Rs15.26 billion next year.
In the Annual Development Plan (ADP) for fiscal year 2020-21, the provincial government had allocated Rs2.28 billion for agriculture whereas for FY22, Rs5 billion has been earmarked, said Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah while presenting the Sindh budget on Tuesday.
“Budget estimates for current revenue expenditure of the irrigation department stand at Rs21.23 billion for 2021-22,” he said. He announced that the current ADP consisted of 182 schemes with allocation of Rs11.96 billion. Out of these, development work on 164 projects was underway while an additional 18 schemes were initiated during the current fiscal year, Shah said. Moreover, Rs17 billion has been allocated for irrigation in fiscal year 2021-22. The chief minister pointed out that canal lining and stretching across 2,261 kilometres has been done and 4,000 watercourses had been developed by the irrigation and agricultural departments.
“High efficiency irrigation system, called drip irrigation, will be installed on 175 farms occupying 2,450 acres of land,” he said. Around 2,082 kitchen gardens will be established and 50% subsidy on agricultural implements will be offered to growers. The chief minister announced that solar-powered tube wells would be installed at a subsidised cost and 300 boreholes would be drilled through power drilling rig machines to irrigate 6,073 hectares of land. Production of compost or bio-fertiliser would be promoted to assist small growers, Shah said.
“We will establish GIS and Remote Sensing Centre for monitoring of natural resources,” he said. “The provincial government will also establish Centre of Excellence in Seed Science and Technology at Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam.”
The chief minister said that 52 schemes were going on in the current fiscal year, which would be completed by June 2021.
Of these, seven schemes pertain to the lining of water channels, smooth supply of irrigation water to tail-enders and improvement of irrigation and drainage system in the province.
“Moreover, 36 schemes related to the lining of canals will line 680 miles of canals funded by the Asian Development Bank,” he said. “The government has planned to conserve irrigation water by lining of canals and distributaries.”
Under the World Bank-assisted Sindh Irrigated Agriculture Productivity Enhancement Project, 709 watercourses were improved during 2020-21 and 778 more watercourses were currently undergoing improvement, the chief minister revealed.
Sindh Abadgar Board Senior Vice President Mehmood Nawaz Shah, however, lamented that even after all the improvement work undertaken for irrigation by the government of Sindh, the quantity of water at tail-end of the system was quite low.
Talking to The Express Tribune, he appreciated the introduction of remote sensing techniques for crop production by the government and stressed that it would revolutionise the agriculture sector if implemented appropriately.
“It is important to utilise technology to regulate the irrigation system,” he said.
KARACHI: The Sindh government Tuesday presented Rs1.477 trillion budget for financial year 2021-22 with estimated deficit of Rs25.738 billion.
Sindh government didn’t introduce any new tax in the budget whereas it proposed 20 percent increase in the salaries of government employees and 10 percent raise in pensions. Provincial government also proposed the minimum wage at Rs25,000 against the existing Rs17,500, in the new fiscal year.
Terming it a ‘citizens budget,’ Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah amidst the uproar by opposition parties, announced that total budget outlay for Financial Year 2021-22 is estimated at Rs1.477 trillion against budget estimate of Rs1.241 trillion for current FY, showing overall increase of 19 percent.
Current expenditure of the province has been projected at Rs.1.14 trillion, which includes current revenue expenditure of Rs.1.089 trillion and current capital expenditure of Rs.59.49 billion in the budget. “This is 78% of total expenditure of the province and shows an increase of 14% over estimates of Rs.1 trillion for last year,” Shah said.
The CM highlighted that for the next financial year government tried to align development as well as non-development expenditure priorities in line with the post-Covid situation.
The development expenditure of the province in the budget has been proposed at Rs.329.032 billion, which include Rs.222.5 billion for Provincial ADP and Rs.30.0 billion for Districts ADP, foreign project assistance of Rs.71.16 billion and Rs.5.4 billion from Federal PSDP Grant for schemes being executed by Government of Sindh.
Murad said that in FY 2021-22, 1,033 schemes have been identified for completion in first and second quarter and maximum resources will be provided for their timely completion. On-Going schemes with remaining throw-forward up to Rs100 million have been fully funded for completion by June, 2022. On-Going Schemes where 70% expenditure is made have been fully funded for completion by June, 2022. Murad announced that total revenue of the province has been estimated at Rs1452.168 billion whereas the budget outlay was Rs1477.903 billion.
The Chief Minister said that a 20% increase had been proposed for the government employees and a 10% raise in pensions of retired government workers had been proposed. He said the minimum salary of the laborers would be increased from Rs17,500 to Rs25,000.
Chief minister said that health remains a priority sector and after advent of Covid-19, Government reprioritized its allocation and earmarked maximum resources in 2020-21 for prevention, isolation, and treatment for Covid-19; besides, significant resources were also spent containing and mitigating the economic damage due to job loss and business closure. For the next financial year, an allocation of Rs.172 billion is proposed as against an allocation of Rs.132.88 billion in 2020-21.
The budget for the education in next budget has been proposed Rs.277.5 billion against Rs.244.5 billion in the current fiscal.
The Chief Minister announced that as part of pro-poor and sustainable development measures, a social protection and economic sustainability package of Rs.30.9 billion has been proposed for the next financial year 2021-22.
Murad Shah announced that budget estimates for current revenue expenditure of Energy Department are estimated at 23.26 billion, which includes Rs.21 billion for clearance of outstanding liabilities of electricity dues of various government departments pertaining to DISCOs such as KE, Hesco and Sepco.
He said that In order to exploit on Thar coal potential, Sindh has requested federal Government to consider progressing on Kati Bandar Project and laying a railway line from Islamkot to Mirpurkhas for coal logistics. The two approaches are essential as industrial expansion in Thar is challenged by extreme weather conditions and water availability.
The Chief Minister said that during the current financial year Rs78 billion are earmarked for local councils in Sindh. For the next financial year allocation of Rs82 billion has been proposed.
He stated that Government of Sindh provided Rs4.02 billion as relief grant and for distribution of compensation to the victims of monsoon during CFY. For 2021-22, an allocation of Rs500 million has been kept for various relief measures.
Shah announced that the Finance Department is working on various Public Financial Management (PFM) and Public Sector Reforms with the assistance of donor partners, ie, the World Bank and European Union. PFM is a cross-cutting theme that can positively impact the fiscal discipline, public service delivery and economic development. Reforming this critical area has a gross positive impact on governance on multiple accounts.
Murad Ali Shah pointed out that actual transfers to Government of Sindh in a fiscal year always fall short of the estimates provided, as FBR falls short in collection of its set targets. The Federal Government is the major contributor to Sindh’s finances comprising of 72.5% in its entirety. It is a fact that these shares inevitably fall short of the estimates we provide every year.
As a result, our development expenditure has to be adjusted to offset the effect, Shah stated and desired to work in close coordination with the Federal Government in the larger interest of the people of Pakistan to overcome these issues. “We expect that the Federal Government would also support us in all our endeavors and help to come up with viable solutions to the issues being faced by Sindh,” he stated.
District Headquarter Hospital Tando Allahyar. The National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) in collaboration with the Sindh government has established its 30th centre at Tando Allahyar district headquarter hospital to treat patients with chest pain free of cost.
The Gambit Institute of Medical Sciences, Sindh, has so far performed 400 liver transplants, 100 corneal transplants, and 1 cochlear transplant. A bone marrow transplant is also being started today, June 21.
It should be noted that 18 bone marrow transplants will be done every month in Gums Gambat. In contrast, the Bone Marrow Transplant Center Armed Forces Hospital Rawalpindi has 13 bone marrow transplants every month, while Karachi Aga Khan Hospital has 4 cases every month. ۔
A lung transplant will also be started soon. All these facilities are absolutely free for the people of Pakistan.
Agreement signing of today between EnerTech (Kuwait) and Sindh Govt worth $190 Million for “Nabisar-Vagihar water supply project” in Thar. CM Sindh, CEO EnerTech, Amb Sajjad of Pakistan, Amb Nasar of Kuwait and Deputy Under Sec. of Kuwait Foreign Ministry also attended.