Asad Umar tells Murad Ali Shah
Observer Report Islamabad
Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Sunday responded to Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah’s complaints that the Centre has not allotted enough funds for the development of Sindh by saying that the federal government will spend on the people of Sindh and not its government.
“I think the chief minister is confused because he is unable to distinguish between the people of Sindh and the government of Sindh.
“Chief minister, sir, you may be the government of Sindh but you are not the people of Sindh. And we will spend on the people of Sindh, not on the government of Sindh,” Umar said.
He said that the funds that had gone from the Centre to Sindh in the past had “resulted in palaces being constructed, diamond necklaces being discovered in Switzerland and towers being constructed in Dubai, and assets being accumulated in France”.
“The people of Sindh know of what I speak, whether it is citizens living in the urban areas or in villages. The rest of Pakistan, on the other hand, may not even know how poorly developed Sindh is,” the minister added.
Umar reminded everyone that PM Imran Khan had announced, within a year of coming into power, not one but two “historic” development packages which cover urban areas as well as rural areas, extending to 18 districts.
The federation, through Ministry of Planning, Development & Special Initiatives, through the Public Private Partnership Authority, and with the help of other federal government institutions that are spending out of their own budget, will spend more than Rs1,000bn on Sindh over the course of three years, he said.
Speaking of the criticism levelled by Shah against the neglect of motorway projects, especially those by National Highway Authority, Umar said he had been “stunned” to read about the same.
“It would have been better for his party had he not mentioned any of this,” the minister said.
Umar said that when the PTI came into power, work on the Multan-Sukkur motorway had already begun and it was this government that finished the project, after investing Rs98bn into it “so that the province can have its first real motorway project”.