Sindh faces Rs109b shortfall in federal revenue transfers: Murad

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Staff Reporter

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the federal government during last four months had to release Rs278.4 billion against which the provincial government has received only Rs169.2 billion which showed a shortfall of Rs109.17 billion.
“This is the position of vertical distribution of funds, therefore the provincial government is facing serious problems.”
This he said on Tuesday while responding to the question of CPNE delegation members led by its President Arif Nizami who called on him here at CM House. Minister Information Saeed Ghani and Advisor to CM Murtaza Wahab were also present on the occasion.
Responding to a question, Murad Shah said that the federal government had to release Rs278.4 billion to Sindh government from July to October but they released only Rs169.17 billion. “This shows a shortfall of Rs109.17 billion which is quite a big amount to upset our budgetary commitments,” he said and added that there was Rs45 billion monthly salary bill of the provincial government. “When you face a shortfall of Rs109 billion how would you be able to meet your expenditures,” he questioned.
The chief minister said that the federal government had to release Rs7 billion against royalty on oil and gas last year but they have released that amount now. “This is how the financial distribution is trickled down by crippling the financial positions of the provinces,” he deplored.
To a question, Murad Shah said that he was heading a government of opposition in the country because in the center, Punjab and KPK the PTI was ruling and in Balochistan the PTI was in coalition. “It is only Sindh government which belongs to PPP which is in opposition in the center,” he said and added “it is not something unusual but issues crop up when constitutional responsibilities are not followed.”
He said that the federal constitutional list has two parts – the one which was directly government by the federal government and the other one was government through CCI. “I am surprised that the prime minister was not convening CCI meeting from last one year- this is how the issues between Sindh and the federal government crop up,” he said. He added that the railways, water issues and various other subjects were of under the CCI domain but it was an irony that the railways minister kept visiting railway tracks in the city but did not bother to interact with the provincial government.
To a question, the chief minister said that it was a wrong impression that he was not going to receive the prime minister whenever he visited Sindh. “The federal government always releases a detailed minute-to-minute schedule of the prime minister’s visit, including the names of the people like governor, chief minister etc and place where they would receive him,” he said and added when the prime minister had under taken his forts visit of Karachi his name was in the programme, therefore he received him and accompanied him to Mazar-e-Quaid and met him at Governor House. In the subsequent visits of the prime minister to Karachi his name was not reflected in the programme, therefore I did not go to receive him,” he said.
Murad Shah said that he had written a number of letters to the prime minister but he did not respond any of them. “Yes, I talk to the federal ministers on telephone but have never spoken anything with the prime minister on his phone,” he said.
He brushed aside the impression of his differences with the Sindh Governor. “No, we are on good terms and we keep meeting with each other,” he said and added he felt wrong when the federal government ignoring the chief executive of the province made the Sindh Governor in-charge of the development works proposed to be launched by the federal government in Karachi.