PRIME Minister Imran Khan on Friday announced what could be called a historic mega package worth Rs 446 billion for the fourteen underdeveloped districts of Sindh, promising the effects of the investment would be visible within a month.
By all means, this is a comprehensive package as it envisages a whole range of projects including those related to the power and gas supplies, sewerage, education, irrigation, communication, sports and so on.
In fact it is the first time that any federal government has announced such a package for Sindh province that will go a long way in addressing the longstanding grievances of the people of Sindh that the Centre never comes forward for the uplift of the province.
This package is in addition to 1,100 billion rupees of Karachi Transformation Plan which was announced by the Prime Minister last year.
Sindh is our second largest province with provincial capital Karachi not only the most populous metropolis but also a commercial hub.
It is however unfortunate that some of the districts in the province still lag far behind in development and where people do not even have access to basic amenities.
Much of the province’s infrastructure continues to be in very poor condition. Many schools still suffer from a lack of basic facilities such as boundary walls or toilets.
The education indicators remain grim and are much lower than all other provinces except Balochistan.
As many as eighty per cent of rural women in Sindh are illiterate. The health sector also presents a sorry state.
The outbreak of HIV in Larkana a couple of years ago and recent dog biting incidents there expose the inadequacies.
In this backdrop, the federal government has taken a step in the right direction to bring improvement in the living standards of the people of backward districts of the province. We expect that there will be no delay in the execution of the projects.
Funds for all the projects should be released in a timely manner ensuring that these are completed in the most transparent manner in the stipulated period.
There is also need to accelerate work on the Karachi Transformation Plan.