KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah presided over two different meetings with Finanace & P&D department and then their joint meeting with Irrigation and Works departments to chalk out strategy for next development budget.
The chief minister said that the financial position of the province was precarious because of decline in federal revenue transfer and this has badly affected development portfolio of the provincial government. He added that for the next financial year thrust would be made on the completion of on-going schemes. “We may hardly include few new schemes, otherwise focus would be given to the completion of on-going development works,” he said.
Mr Shah said that his focus in the next budget would be on completion of water supply, sanitation and school schemes. He directed P&D department to conduct a survey to assess and evaluate the impact of the development of road network, bridges on river Indus and hospitals on the life of the people. “We must know what have done and what we have to do to create convenience for the people of Sindh,” he said.
Mr Shah said that the provincial ADP during current closing financial year was Rs230 billion against which expenditures upto end of April 2019 have been recorded at Rs72.88 billion. This utilization would go upto Rs130-40 billion by end of June. He added that the Road network had an allocation of Rs56.6 billion against which they have utilized Rs27.8. Similarly, Irrigation sector has utilized Rs17.8 billion against their allocation of Rs35.8 billion. He added that road and Irrigation sectors have utilized Rs45.66 billion which formed 64 percent of their total expenditures.
The chief minister also pointed out that the Water and Sanitation had Rs42.5 billion allocation but they utilized Rs6.5 billion. The health department utilized Rs4.3 billion against an allocation of Rs15.8 billion, education utilized Rs5.9 billion against an allocation of Rs15.8 billion. He added that declining trend of utilization of development funds was reported for two different reasons, the first one was less releases due to financial crunch and the other one was the reluctance of the officers.. “We have tried our best to develop confidence among the officers so that they can utilize the available funds,” he said.
Minister for Works Syed Nasir Shah told the meeting that 326 roads sector schemes of Rs25.8 billion were launched against which Rs21.4 were released and the expenditures were Rs16.8 billion.
He said that out of 109 schemes 70 would be completed in Hyderabad and Sukkur regions. He requested that the next ADP of Works & Service Department may be increased by 40 percent. AT this the chief minister said that it was not possible. “I would try to increase your next year’s ADP to some extent, otherwise funds would be allocated only for completion of on-going schemes,” he said.
Chairperson P&D Naheed Shah told the meeting that second draft o the next year ADP from different department has received and would be studied as per financial allocation. They would be finalized with the approval of the chief minister.
The Irrigation department also proposed to construct Landhis long canal embankments and dock bungalows but the chief minister said that they would be approved if the financial position of the government was improved.