Murad presents Rs1.144tr Sindh tax-free budget

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Govt servants salaries, pension up by 10pc

Masroor Afzal Pasha

Karachi

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah presented to the provincial assembly on Thursday Sindh’s budget for the fiscal year 2018-19 with a total outlay of Rs1.144 trillion tax-free budget with a Rs343.90 billion annual development for the next financial year.
Murad Ali Shah urged the house to authorize expenditure for only three months from 1st July to 30th September 2018. “Though constitutionally, we have the mandate to approve budget for the next whole financial year, however, to uphold the party principals of fair play, we believe that it is the rightful mandate of the incoming government to set budget priorities for themselves,” he said on the floor of the house.
Murad Shah said that he was pleased to announce that for the second year in a row, we are not proposing any new taxes in the budget. Budget 2018-19 is a tax-free, welfare oriented and a progressive budget. I will not be introducing a Finance Bill for 2018-19.
He said that almost 75 percent of Sindh government’s revenue receipts were dependent on Federal Transfers, consisting of shares from Federal divisible pool, Straight Transfers and the Grant to offset losses in lieu of abolition of OZT. “The major chunk comes from divisible pool taxes, which is distributed to the provinces under NFC formula,” he said.
He said that the decision on 9th NFC award was long awaited. “The delay is causing huge economic loss to the provinces, especially the province of Sindh because of its revenue collection is much higher as compared to other provinces,” he said, urging the federal government to announce the NFC Award soon so that further loss to our province could be avoided.
He said that only one tax has been devolved to provinces, which is sales tax on services. He said the collection of sales tax on services when it was with Federal Government, stood at Rs16 billion in 2010-11. After devolution the collection figure is Rs78.66 billion in 2016-17, showing a marked increase in the collection.”
He said that during 2017-18, Rs.274.00 billion was allocated in the budget estimates for development which has been revised to Rs.226.00 billion, including Rs.28.00 billion for District ADP schemes. The departments will complete 714 schemes in the 2017-18 as compared to 536 schemes completed in last financial year 2016-17.
Announcing the development budget for 2018-19, Murad Ali Shah said the total development budget outlay for Sindh in 2018-19 would be Rs343.90 billion. This includes Rs282 billion ADP (Rs252 billion provincial ADP and Rs 30 billion Districts ADP). There would be Rs46.894 billion from Foreign Projects Assistance (FPA) and Rs15.02 billion would be provided by Federal Government for PSDP schemes to be executed by Government of Sindh.
Sindh government has decided to prepare 80 percent of development budget for on-going schemes and leave 20 percent of budget space for new schemes in a block provision in ADP 2018-19, Murad Shah said, informing the house that the provincial development budget includes Rs252 billion for ADP 2018-19 out of which Rs202 billion being 80 percent has been allocated for 2,226 on-going schemes, whereas new schemes of all departments would be accommodated under the block provision of Rs50 billion, being 20 percent of the development budget, earmarked separately as ‘Block Allocation’ for new schemes to be decided by next government for all sectors in ADP 2018-19. In addition, Rs30.00 billion has been allocated for District ADP 2018-19.
Revised Estimates 2017-18:
Murad Ali Shah presented revised estimates for total receipts of province for Current Financial Year 2017-18 and said they Rs966.6 billion, as against budget estimates of Rs1028.9 billion. The Sindh government is largely dependent on federal transfers which constitute 61 percent of its total revenue.
Murad Ali Shah said that with the unpredictability of these fiscal transfers from the federal to provincial government, budget preparation becomes cumbersome as the projections of non-development expenditure and development portfolio are largely based on these estimates. Resultantly, provincial development expenditure has to be adjusted to offset the effect. “There is decrease of Rs28.5 billion in federal transfers in revised estimates 2017-18 as communicated by the federal government,” he said and added receipts of Federal PSDP were slashed to Rs20.4 billion from Rs27.3 billion; whereas revised Foreign Project Assistance stands at Rs27.7 billion as against Rs42.7 billion.
He said that on the provincial revenue collection side, we were largely able to achieve our provincial tax receipt targets. He proudly said that the Sindh Revenue Board and Excise, Taxation & Narcotics Control Department were able to achieve their tax targets. The provincial tax and non-tax receipt is revised to Rs197 billion against an estimated target of Rs199.6 billion.
Talking about expenditure side, the chief minister said that the budget has been revised from Rs1043.2 billion to Rs987.8 billion. The current expenditure has been revised to Rs685.2 billion from Rs666.5 billion. He added the increase is primarily because of increase in the pension of retired employees, and grants to various sectors of the economy.
The chief minister said that the development expenditure has been revised at Rs282.4 billion against an estimated allocation of Rs344 billion. “It is worth mentioning that current financial year recorded the highest utilization of development funds, till yesterday, the development expenditure was recorded as Rs143.3 billion,” he said.
Budget Estimates 2018-19:
Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that the total receipts of Province for financial year 2017-18 were estimated at Rs1028.9 billion. The estimated expenditure was Rs1043.2 billion. He went on saying that for the next financial year the budget estimates of receipts is Rs1124 billion which was 8.5 percent higher than for Current Financial Year. “Receipts from Federal Government on account of revenue assignment, straight transfer and grants are estimated at Rs665.1 billion. Receipts from Federal Government are 59.2 percent of the total receipts of the Province. Receipts of Federal PSDP are estimated at Rs15 billion. Receipts on account of Foreign Project Assistance, budgetary support loans and grants are estimated at Rs46.9 billion. Receipts from provincial own sources including tax and non-tax receipts are estimated at Rs243 billion,” he said.
Talking about expenditure side, Murad Ali Shah said that the outlay of budget was estimated at Rs1144.2 billion as against budget estimate of Rs1043.2 billion of 2017-18, reflecting an increase of 8.8 percent. “The current expenditure including Current Revenue Expenditure of Rs773.2 billion and Current Capital Expenditure of Rs27.1 billion stands at Rs800.3 billion,” he said.
He said that achievements of Sindh government in health sector would remain incomplete. He acknowledge the services rendered by National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) which is the biggest center for the treatment of heart attack and primary angioplasty in the world. Currently six chest pain units are functional in Karachi and 60 more such chest pain units will be installed in different areas of the province. They are NICVD satellite centers at Tando Muhammad Khan, Larkana, Hyderabad and Sehwan in collaboration with the government of Sindh. Very soon three more NICVD centers will be made functional at Nawab Shah, Khairpur and Mithi in the year 2018. Grant for NICVD has been enhanced from Rs.5.769 billion to Rs.8.094 billion for next financial year.
Initiatives under PPP:
Murad Shah said that 1,213 health facilities have been outsourced on performance based management contract, which include 1,049 facilities to PPHI and 158 facilities outsourced to some other NGOs (108 Integrated Health Services, 35 HANDS, 01 Indus Hospital, 13 Medical Emergency Relief Foundation, 01 Poverty Eradication Initiative.
Two Regional Blood Transfusion Centers at Sukkur and Jamshoro have been outsourced to Sukkur Blood Bank and Indus Hospital, respectively.
Grants:
The Government of Sindh is providing Rs5.59 billion to SIUT as a grant in next financial year (2018-19). It includes establishment of SUIT at Larkana with an allocation of Rs497.5 million. SIUT has already established: SIUT-Sukkur Chapter with an investment of Rs552.27 million. This institute has been functionalized to provide affordable OPD, Diagnostic, Dialysis and other specialized services. Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit in SIUT at the cost of Rs692.779 million, which is equipped with state of the art infrastructure and facilities, benefiting 50-100 patients. Child Life Foundation is managing children emergency rooms in three Government Hospitals under PPP agreement which include: Dr. Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi.
National Institute of Child Health, Sindh Government Hospital Korangi-5. By May 2018 Child Life Foundation would start operations at 2 more emergency service in Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, Karachi and Lyari General Hospital, Karachi. By June 2018,ChildLife will start ER operations in 02 more facilities i.e. 1) Peoples Medical College, Nawabshah and 2) Chandka Medical College, Larkana. Lastly by the end of 2018, Children ERs would also become functional at Ghulam Muhammad Mahar Medical College, Sukkur and Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro.
GAMBAT, from Rs1500 million to Rs2.55 billion, Shahdadpur Institute of Health Sciences, from Rs175.00 million to Rs300 million
Nutrition and Anti- Stunting:
Sindh is facing challenges of malnutrition and stunting in our children as 48 percent children in Sindh are malnourished and stunted. The Sindh government, in collaboration with World Bank, has started a multi-sectoral program to reduce the rate of stunting in our children with the aim to reduce it by 30 percent in the next five years.
Murad Shah said that he has allocated Rs2.4 billion on the non-development side for this program in the year 2017-18. Proposing an allocation of Rs5.1 billion in the next year;
The major departments responsible for this program are Health, Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Local Govt. Social Welfare.
He said that a large number of schemes are proposed, a few of which are mentioned below:
A new allocation for International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences for strengthening of Jamil-ur-Rehman Centre for Genome Research, University of Karachi to establish DNA Lab. To improve Cardiology Department at Lyari General Hospital Karachi.
To strengthen Sindh Institute of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences Hyderabad. To construct 200 Bedded Surgical Block Liaquat University Hospital, Hyderabad. To construct 200 Bedded Urology, Nephrology, Gastroenterology, Endoscopy, Suite, Dermatology, endocrinology and Diabetes Block, LUH, Jamshoro. To establish NICVD Satellite Center at Shaheed Benazirabad. To rehabilitate and strengthen Nursing Hostel, Obstetrics & Gynecology Department, O.T., External Development and Missing Facilities at Sheikh Zayed Campus, CMCH, Larkana. To construct Building of Nursing School & Hostel Mirpurkhas. To up-grade of Rural Health Centre to the level of Taluka Hospital Khanpur in District Shikarpur.
To strengthen Development wing including Capacity Building of officers / officials of Health Department.
Indus Hospital Badin: The initiatives brought about remarkable improvement in the provision of public health service, including OPDs, IPDS, surgeries, etc. The management of DHQ Badin was handed over to the Indus Hospital under the PPP mode in March, 2016:
Very soon the people of Badin will see a new 250 bedded facility with the provision of all major facilities.
Women Development and Minority Affairs:
The People’s government allocated Rs426.00 million under ADP during the 2017-18 for execution of various schemes. During the next financial year we have to plan following schemes: Establishment of Sales and Display Resource Centre at Mirpurkhas, Construction of women club at Makli, Establishment of women complex at Hyderabad and Larkana, Improvement of livelihood and well-being of Female Home Based Workers, Imparting driving training for women at Karachi, Establishment of training Centre and Conference Hall at Jacobabad.
Minorities:
To uplift the socio-economic conditions and welfare of minorities in Sindh, we are increasing the grant for Minorities from Rs.500 million in current year 2017-18 to Rs.750 million for the next financial year 2018-19, which is to be used for financial assistance, medical treatment, scholarships and repair, renovation of Religious places of minorities.
Infrastructure Development:
For those who understand the dynamics of politics and economy, there is a vision in our policies and a sense in our priorities and direction We, in fact, focused our attention on development of infrastructure, whether it be roads or energy, instead of introducing cosmetic schemes like metros through which all the money was directed to major cities just to earn popularity. We have instead spread our development activities all over Sindh, both in urban and rural centers in a just and equitable manner. Road sector development and initiatives in Energy sector are prominent examples to quote. We are not oblivious of a good public transport system, either. Now we have turned to it. Green line and orange line have been started in Karachi and soon the public will benefit from it.
Road Sector:
People’s government has been pursuing ambitious agenda road sector. During current financial year: In the ADP portfolio of road sector is Rs25.77 billion which includes Rs400 million allocations for foreign assisted projects. The Works & Services Department has completed 205 schemes in ADP 2017-18 for 1728 km roads; which include 1169 km for improvement of existing roads and 559 km for construction of new ones.
The Government’s Policy of public-private partnership to achieve optimum results, the chief minister discussed some projects undertaken under PPP mode. They are Karachi – Thatta dual carriageway is a 49.0 km of Rs8.85 billion. Kandhkot–Ghotki Bridge on River Indus is an Rs10 billion project. A detailed feasibility study for the bridge has been initiated. M9–N5 link road is a 22 km long project connecting Superhighway (M-9) and National Highway (N-5). The main objective of this project is to manage the traffic coming and going through these highways. Consequently, congestion of traffic at Malir, Bin Qasim, and Landhi Towns will be reduced. Sir Agha Khan Jhirk–Mulla Katiar Bridge is a Rs4.5 billion project, Construction of Abdul Salam Thahim Flyover Bridge at Shahdapur over Jati Railway Phatak, Construction of Bridge on Rohri Canal, Connecting Shaheed Benazirabad to Kazi Ahmed, Construction / Improvement of 57 Km Long road from Naushero Feroze to Nawabshah, Construction of Southern Bypass at Tando Allahyar, Construction / Improvement of road from Mirwah to Umerkot road near Mirpurkhas Sugar Mill (15 Kms), Karachi Thatta Hyderabad road to Jhimpir i/c construction of road to Jhirk Mullah Katiyar Bridge (36.76 Kms).
Government of Sindh has also sought the assistance of Asian Development Bank to expand and improve Public Private Partnership in Sindh. Under the Project, ADB will support the Government of Sindh to develop a more financially sustainable and fiscally responsible PPP project portfolio: Total Project Value is $184.13 million; out of which ADB is contributing 100 million USD Loan; Government of Sindh, $64.90 million as Counterpart Funding; and DFID, $19.23 million as a grant. The Sindh government with the assistance of Asian Development Bank has conceived Sindh Provincial Road Improvement Project for the improvement of 328 km long, different inter district main roads connecting with highways, which include: 44 km road from Thull to Kandhkot. 36 km road from Saharanpur to Ratodero, 64 km road from Khyber to Sanghar via Tando Adam, 63 km road from Sanghar to Mirpurkhas via Sindhri, 66 km road from Tando Muhammad Khan to Badin, 55 km road from Digri to Naukot.
Some of the projects under Public Private Partnership which are approaching agreement signing include Ghotki-Kandhkot Bridge Project costing Rs14 billion, BRT Abdul Sattar Edhi (former orange BRT) and Green BRT Project costing Rs4.5 billion.
Energy:
Murad Shah informed the house that we have achieved several targets during current financial year 2017-18 and have set a number of goals for next financial year 2018-19. The achievements are Thar Block-II has been progressing well ahead of its timelines both at mining level as well as power plant construction level. He added as of today, 78 percent overburden has been removed. The first seam of the Thar coal would be exposed and available for utilization by the first week of June 2018.
The pre-commissioning tests of the power plant would take place in July 2018 and after grid connectivity and synchronization the first electron from Thar Coal will be added to the national grid by December 2018. The flow of electricity from Thar would usher a new era of development in the country and transform the entire energy sector.
Development of renewable energy is another vital area where Sindh government has put special emphasis. The government has so far allotted 53,600 acres land in different districts for development and production of wind and solar energy and reserved 42,000 acres for new such projects.
The chief minister said that as of today 935 MW electricity is being injected into national grid through wind resources. 300 MW additional power would be available by July 2018f six more wind power projects. He added that he plans to generate 2,485 MW power from wind ad and 1550 Mega Watt solar energy through foreign funding.
He said that he has negotiated and finalized with the World Bank “Sindh Solar Energy Project” for deployment of solar PV technologies in Sindh for $ 105 million. The project would be formally launched from next financial year. The project comprises urban roof top solar program for Karachi and Hyderabad; village electrification for off-grid areas with an initial target of 200,000 households across Sindh; 50 MW grid connected solar project at Manjhand, Jamshoro district and in-house capacity building.
He also said that Keti Bandar-Gharo-Jhimpir wind corridor has the potential to generate 50,000 MW power but lack of sufficient capacity transmission grid is hampering development of this huge resource.
Sindh is the only province which has established a transmission line company namely Sindh Transmission & Dispatch Company (STDC) for evacuation of 100 MW electric power by constructing 95 KM transmission lines from Nooriabad to Karachi. I hope that STDC will be able to supply additional 2,000 MW wind power to the province in shortest possible time.
Murad Shah said that to tap the potential of coal reserves of Thatta, Jamshoro and Badin districts, Government has established Sindh Lakhra Coal Mining Company (SLCMC) to initiate underground mechanized coal mining to enhance production and recovery of coal. Besides, coal washing plants will be established to improve quality of coal for the use in power generation and industries. An equity of Rs695 million during 2017-18 has been injected to the company for the coal sector development.
Schemes proposed in this sector are particularly about following areas include creating conducive environment through development of physical infrastructure for power generation and mining; building of institutional infrastructure necessary for setting tariff, pricing and other concessions to attract foreign direct investment in Thar Coal; Exploiting the availability of huge reserves of shale gas / oil in Sindh and the wind corridor at Keti Bander and Jhampir for power generation. The wind corridor is 80 km long along the coast and 170 km deep towards land with potential wind power generation capacity of 60,000 MW.
Thar Coal:
Government of Sindh has already spent billions of rupees to build infrastructure at Thar coalfield. At present, road access, water supply, airport, Reverse Osmosis plants, and other facilities have been completed. However, following works where we need federal government’s support are in pipeline:
Installing transmission line for power evacuation from the Thar field; constructing railway track for transportation of coal to different power plants and for exporting coal; Exploring indigenous resources at Thar and other fields; and Prioritizing the Thar coal for use in local coal based power plants.
Talking about next financial year, the chief minister said that village electrification and village gasification programs would continue for which Rs1200 million has been allocated, four schemes for assured water supply for Thar Coal filed at the total cost of Rs33, 310 million with next year’s allocation of Rs2530 million will be executed, Rs7 billion has been allocated for 16 on-going development schemes in ADP 2018-19 for development of road infrastructure and water schemes for Thar coal, New schemes will be accommodated under the provision of Rs50 billion earmarked separately as ‘Block Allocation’ for new schemes for all sectors in ADP 2018-19.
Irrigation:
Water is a critical input for the rural economy in Agriculture and Irrigation Sector. The government is committed to continue its initiatives of improving of irrigation system and rehabilitation and revamping of the drainage system.
Sindh Province, a lower riparian in the country, is facing acute water shortage. Sindh’s irrigation system comprises of three barrages (Guddu, Sukkur and Kotri), Fourteen major canals with total command area of 13.2 million acres, and designed capacity of 134,000 cusecs.
In addition, the department owns and operates more than 6200 tube wells to supplement irrigation water for enhanced agricultural production.
Besides, the Irrigation department is responsible for flood protection, drainage and salinity control, rainwater harvesting, and maintenance of ground water table to an optimum level.
Further, the government plans to develop high efficiency irrigation systems, conserving water to cultivate additional 30,000 acres of land. Lining of main canals and minors has been proposed to reduce the loss of water due to seepage. After lining of canals, it is expected that the conveyance losses will reduce from 30 to 15 percent and 285,371 acres of new land will be brought under cultivation with the saving of 950 cusecs of water.
The Department has so far achieved lining of 450 miles and has planned to achieve the target of 674.8 miles in 2018-19. The short term & long term development plans includes rehabilitation of Barrages, began with Guddu Barrage; Rehabilitation, Protection & Capacity Enhancement of Irrigation and Drainage Network; Restoration / Rehabilitation of Irrigation & Drainage Network affected by Flood 2010 & 2011; Rehabilitation / Restoration of LBOD System; Reduction of Water-logging & Salinity; Land Reclamation through lowering the Water table; Improvement in Water Sector Reforms through Sindh Water Sector Improvement Project (WSIP); Control on Sea Water Intrusion; Conservation of Water through Lining of Channels & building Small Dams.
For the next financial year 2018-19, Rs36.11 billion have been proposed in the development budget in ADP 2018-19 for 248 on-going schemes, including 3 schemes for Thar Coal Infrastructure development and four schemes under Matching projects, whereas new schemes of Irrigation sector will be accommodated under the provision of Rs50.00 billion earmarked separately as ‘Block Allocation’ for new schemes for all sectors in ADP 2018-19. The development budget also includes Rs8.500 billion under foreign projects assistance.
Local Government:
Murad Shah said Sindh is densely populated and most urbanized province of the country having 24 percent of the country’s population. The trend of urbanization and growing population put consistent pressure on water supply, sewage effluent disposal and solid waste management services. According to Provisional Census Report of 2017, Population of Sindh is 47.886 million. The estimated demand of drinking water is 1538 MGD. The waste water generation is estimated at 1076.6 MGD @ 70 percent of water supplied.
Water and sanitation have been and are the priority for the Sindh government particularly because of the arid and hot climate and brackish ground water spread over 83 percent of the total area of Sindh.
The sector gained significant importance during recent years for provision of clean drinking water and safe disposal of sewage in the Province. Therefore 90 new schemes were included for Rs29.66 billion in ADP 2017-18. Hence, allocation was increased from Rs4.173 billion to Rs6 billion. The allocation for water supply, sanitation and solid waste management schemes was also increased from Rs7.966 billion to Rs14.717 billion. In addition, 26 Non-ADP schemes of Rs4.283 billion relating to water supply and sanitation have also been taken up during 2017-18 to address the issue of water supply and sewerage.
The next fiscal year 2018-19, we have proposed an amount of Rs29.022 billion for 262 on-going schemes of water supply, sanitation and solid waste management in ADP 2018-19. Out of which Rs9.10 billion are allocated for 141 on-going schemes of PHED for water supply and sewerage system in ADP 2018-19. This includes 15 schemes costing Rs3621.742 million in phase-I for elimination of sewage discharging in fresh water bodies. Two major schemes for Karachi City (K-IV & S-III) under matching grants with allocation of Rs7.261 billion. Whereas, new schemes of PHED and LGD will be accommodated under the provision of Rs50 billion earmarked separately as ‘Block Allocation’ for new schemes for all sectors in ADP 2018-19.
Karachi Division:
The chief minister said that out of 14 New schemes identified under “Mega Schemes of Karachi”, 11 schemes have been approved and under execution; they are road from Tank chowrangi to Super highway via Thado Nalla, Reconstruction of Tipu Sultan Road from Shahra-e-Faisal to Karsaz, Construction of Bridge at Tipu Sultan and Khalid Bin Waleed Intersection, Reconstruction of Stadium Road, Re-modeling of 12000 Roads (Landhi – Korangi), Improvement of Roads around Cantt Railway Station, Improvement of Road from Fuwara Chowk to Garden via Abdullah Haroon Road and back to Fuwara Chowk via Zaibunissa Road, Bridge over Korangi Nalla, Bridge at Intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Gizri Boulevard, Storm water drain from Hassan Square to Lyari River, 24 dia Meters water supply pipe line from Habib Bank to Pump No. 3 for improvement of water supply in Baldia town Area.
He said that Greater Karachi Sewerage Project (S-III), Greater Karachi Water Supply Project (K-IV) are being co-funded by the provincial and the federal government.
The other major schemes being provided schemes are Laying & Jointing 32″ dia rising main including Construction of Pump House with Pumping Machinery for Water supply scheme Hussain Abad Taluka Qasimabad, District Hyderabad. Rehabilitation and Restoration of 110 feet-wide, 24 ft black top Mulakatiar road, Hyderabad, improvement / construction of various Asphalt roads, CC roads, drains, in Hyderabad, Improvement / Construction of Tando Ghulam Ali Digri Sugar Mill Road and main Naga Road, Construction of Road from Hirar Chandia road to Karoro mile, Construction of road from Chachro Wicholo Paar road to village Pin Pario, Widening/Reconditioning/Construction of Road from Chanessar Pangrio Mori Road to Connect Nawabshah Qazi Ahmed Road, 24 various Development Schemes of road and electrification, Construction of road from Taj Colony near Railway Track Road to connect Suger Mill road, Construction of Flyover Bridge at Larkana City, Development Schemes of Taluka Ratodero, Construction/Reconditioning of Jacobabad-Thul Road, Construction/Improvement of internal roads of Thul City.
SAFF SUTHRO SINDH:
He said that the Saaf Suthro Sindh Programme is conceived as Nutrition Sensitive Programme to cover the Sanitation component in order to help in reduction of Malnutrition and Stunting rates in the province. The Scope of the Project is initially to cover 13 districts of Sindh. He added that about 50 percent of rural population in these 13 districts would be covered by taking up 400 villages in each district.
He said that the target is to make 5200 villages of Sindh as Open Defecation Free (ODF) villages by the end of the program.
Agriculture:
Agriculture plays a pivotal role in the country’s economy. It contributes 24 percent to the GDP. Sindh province’s contribution in national production is 36 percent in rice, 29 percent in sugarcane, 34 percent in cotton and 15 percent in wheat.
In Sindh Wheat, Cotton, Rice and Sugarcane are the major field crops, which constitute 68 percent of the total cropped area, while Mango, Banana and Chilies are the major horticultural crops. Sindh produces 36 percent Rice, 29 percent Sugarcane, 34 percent Cotton, and 15 percent of Wheat of total production in the country.
World Bank through two development projects has provided financial assistance to the growers for increasing agricultural productivity in Sindh. Sindh Agriculture Growth project is for improving the productivity, market access in important commodity value chains in agriculture (Onion, Chilies, Dates & Rice). Whereas another project is for improvement of water courses, mitigation of flood risks, introducing high efficiency irrigation system and improved agricultural practices.
Additional Lining of already improved Water Courses in Sindh for Rs.2540.838 million which includes Rs1629.786 million Sindh government share and farmer share is Rs911.052. The Current Revenue Expenditure of Agriculture has been increased by 34 percent to Rs10.36 billion in next financial year as against Rs7.7 billion in CFY.
The ADP for Agriculture (excluding new schemes) under next financial year is pitched at Rs5 billion, besides provincial ADP, Rs5.94 billion have been allocated for foreign funded projects. Sindh irrigated agriculture productivity enhancement program has an allocation of Rs1.08 billion under on-going schemes. Preservation & storage facility of fruits and vegetables through hot water treatment & controlled atmosphere store on subsidy to farmers is kept at Rs508.8 million.
Provision of solar water pumps/tube wells on subsidized rates to farmers in Sindh will be continued under on-going with Rs113 million.
During next financial year 2018-19 subsidy assistance of Rs9.650 billion to the farmers will be provided for tractors, agricultural implements, Solar Pumps and Tube wells etc. Further research will continue to develop new varieties, for production of Hybrid Seed for different Crops. Research in agriculture has shown good results and new varieties of corps have been developed with remarkable increase in the yield. For example, after research of many years, cotton production has increased by 21 percent; Rice, 45 percent; Sugarcane etc.
Livestock & Fisheries:
For producing healthy and productive livestock and enhancing safety of animals and their by-products, certain development schemes worth Rs1.7 billion were initiated during 2017-18, for example establishment of Bio-safety Lab & Quality Enhancement Cell of highly pathogenic Virus Vaccine Development, establishment of Laboratory and Sheds for genetically improved Animals. Provision of Disease Diagnostic facilities at door step to livestock farmers through Stationery Mobile Laboratory chain in 3 districts normally Thatta, Badin and Mirpurkhas etc.
Beside this, Foreign Aided Projects of Sindh Agriculture Growth Project (Livestock Component) – World Bank, Accelerated Action Plan and JICA have also contributed for betterment by livestock farmers and poor fishermen of the province.
Livestock & Fisheries Department has allocated Rs3358.878 million in next year’s ADP 2018-19 for major priority areas such as increase in milk and meat production, Expansion of Livestock and Poultry Vaccination program and health cover, Establishment and upgradation of Veterinary Centers and Artificial Insemination Centers, Establishment of private Fish Farms for increasing export of Fish and Fish products, Research in feed, seed and breed improvement, Increase in Livestock and Poultry vaccination production, Establishment of Marine and Fresh water fisheries research Centre, Corporate Farming in Livestock, Poultry and Fisheries.
Forest, Wildlife & Environment:
Murad Shah said that a massive Roadside and Amenity planting scheme for the year 2018-19 and onwards to make roads and cities green with trees and flowering plants in order to reduce the climate change effects. The scheme is aimed at raising and maintenance of about 6,000 KMs on Road and Canal side plantations along with creating green belts in and around Cities and Towns to improve environment.
Tree Plantation will be the major feature of the department in next financial year. We plan to plant riverine forest on 10,000 acres, irrigated land on 120 acres, mangroves on 3000 acres, trees on 300 Kms long road, raise 20 million container plants, and establish nurseries on 30 acres.
Welfare Measures:
Talking about welfare measures, the chief minister said that Benazir Income Support Program was vision of our leadership. We feel that Federal Government has not expanded the program as per its essence. Hence, Government of Sindh has launched cash transfer scheme to mitigate the effects of increasing prices of essential commodities and economic shocks. During the current financial year, Rs4.2 billion are being disbursed as cash transfer amongst chronically poor that have been identified by Benazir Income Support Program. For the next fiscal an amount of Rs4.2 billion will be disbursed. Under this measure, Rs2,000 cash grant is distributed among the most as a Ramazan, Eid, miscellaneous relief to the most needy persons registered under Benazir Income Support Programme, in a very transparent and efficient manner.
Action Plan to reduce Stunting and Malnutrition: Sindh government of Sindh has launched Rs5.106 billion multi-sectoral plan to reduce stunting and malnutrition in Sindh. We have developed a holistic strategy to address the issue and have assigned tangible goals to our departments that are to be achieved over next 5 years.
Grants and Subsidies:
Talking about grants and subsidies on food items, Murad Ali hah said that we have contributed Rs2.6 billion as subsidy for reduction in price of urea and DAP. With blessing of Allah and through our sustained farmer friendly efforts we have achieved bumper crop of wheat. An amount of Rs2.1 billion has been provided as wheat subsidy. We are in process of procuring 200,000 Tons additional wheat from the growers during the financial years. This will give the impetus to farmers to intensify their efforts in future years. For the next financial year, we have kept Rs5 billion for wheat subsidy.
Universal Accident Insurance Scheme:
The chief minister said that his government has have launched Universal Accident Insurance Scheme. Under the scheme Rs100,000 are provided to relatives in case of accidental death.
Scholarships to all Students Securing A-1 Grade in Matriculation:
This scholarship shall be provided as an incentive to students for their efforts in securing higher grades, regardless of the family income in include motivation in them. The scholarship amount has been fixed at Rs100,000 per student for all educational boards of Sindh. A large number of deserving students will benefit from these schemes.
Abolishment of Registration and Examination fee for all Matric and Intermediate Boards in Sindh: Under this scheme both fee for all matric and intermediate boards has been abolished to benefit our students. This scheme will continue.
Scholarships for University Education: There is an established fund under the Education Department for supporting / subsidizing (scholarships) at university level education for deserving students. Each year around 2,000 students benefit from this facility.
Financing of a ‘Green Fund’: This intervention has been introduced for Rs50 million for providing support towards environment friendly measures / forestry. It will help improve increase forest cover by increasing number of trees, ultimately leading to improvement in environment and for creation of job opportunities for those who are engaged in running nurseries.
Increase in Salary:
The chief minister said that the output of Government is directly related to the performance of every individual employee, For next financial year we are proposing an increase of 10 percent in the basic salary of all government employees and pensioners.
Health Sector:
Special Incentive Allowance @ Rs.4,000 to Vaccinators (BS-06) in Sindh Province. Enhancement in Stipend to Nurse Students / Nursing Cadre (BS-16) from Rs6,860 to Rs15,880. Hard Area Allowance to Specialist, Medical Doctors / Para Medical Staff, especially in District Tharparkar, @ Rs10,000 to Rs.140,000/- for employees in BS-1 to BS-20 & above. Health Professional Allowance to the employees of devolved Institutions JPMC / NICH @ half Basic Pay per month. Health Professional Allowance to all the Pharmacists working under health Department @ one running basic pay per month.
Police:
Enhancement in rates of Compensation to the families of Shaheed Sindh Police Officers / Officials from Rs5 million to Rs10 million per head along with One Plot and One Appointment from Rs5 million. Compensation of one million rupees on Permanent Incapacitation to Sindh Police Officers / Officials. Enhancement of Compensation on Temporary Incapacitation to Sindh Police Officers / Officials from Rs50,000 to Rs500,000. Compensation of Rs1 million on Road, Traffic Accident in line of duty to Sindh Police Officers, Officials.
Law and Justice:
Enhancement of Panel Advocate’s Fee after 1994 from Rs1,000 to Rs5,000 in various cases. Three times Enhancement in Perks and Privileges of Advocate General Officers.
Education:
Enhancement in Special Allowance to the Officers, Officials in BS-1 to BS-20 working in Sindh Higher Education Commission @ Rs12,000 per month to Rs175,000 p.m.
Other Departments:
Special Allowance to the Officers, Officials in BS-1 to BS-20 working in Sindh Civil Service Academy @ Rs12,000 per month to Rs175,000 p.m. Three times Enhancement in the rates of Financial Assistance to the family of Civil Servants who dies while in Service. Utility Allowance @ Rs4,000 per month to Rs60,000 p.m. to the regular employees of Provincial Ombudsman.
Relief for Government Employees, Pensioners:
The chief minister said that the government employees and pensioners have been given special relief. He added that the relieve measure taken by the government include, Ad hoc Relief Allowance at 10 percent on running Basic Pay of BPS-2017 will be allowed to all Sindh Government and Civil Employees. 10 percent increase in Net Pension to all pensioners of the government employees; the House Rent Ceiling / House Rent Allowance enhanced at 50 percent of the existing amount. The rate of minimum Pension enhanced from Rs6,000 to Rs.10,000 and minimum family pension from Rs4,500 to Rs7,500 in respect of the pensioners of Government of Sindh.
Defining further, Murad Shah said the rate of minimum pension will be Rs15,000 for the pensioners whose age is 75 years or above. Over time Allowance admissible to staff such as car drivers and dispatch riders has been enhanced from Rs40 per hour to Rs80 per hour subject to maximum of Rs480 on working days and Rs100 per hour on closed holidays subject to maximum of Rs600 per day.
He said that the government has regularized of Contract Employees, including 24000 Lady Health Workers and 1300 NPIW staff.
Tax Revenue Mobilization:
Murad Shah said that the tax receipts have increased from Rs91.37 billion to Rs185.62 billion (BE FY 2017-18) in three years after the implementation of STRMP.
He said that the increased tax collection from Rs33.67 billion to Rs100 billion during last 5 years, with 24.32 percent annual compound growth rate is a great success of the government .’

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