Sindh cabinet meets to discuss budget


KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah said on Friday the provincial government wants to present a people friendly budget for the fiscal year 2013-14.

He was presiding over a meeting of his cabinet in Karachi on Friday where matters pertaining to the provincial budget, tax proposals and resource mobilization were discussed.

The Sindh provincial budget for the fiscal year 2013-14 is expected to be announced on June 17.

Syed Murad Ali Shah, the CM’s Adviser on Finance, submitted budgetary proposals to the chief minister and the cabinet during the meeting for further approval.

Out of the Rs 1,502 billion share of provinces for fiscal year 2013-14, Sindh will receive Rs 400 billion from the federal divisible pool of taxes and transfers.

According to details of the budgetary proposals available with media, the Sindh government is planning to spend Rs 14 billion on education, Rs 13 billion on health, and Rs 2 billion on social relief packages.

The government is also considering a Rs 2.5 billion spend on a ‘special package’ for the holy month of Ramazan, starting from the second week of July, and a special package for Karachi worth Rs 3 billion.

The government is also considering expenses of up to Rs 49 billion on law and order, Rs 46 billion separately for Police, and Rs 3 billion on Rangers this year.

Spending of up to Rs 35 billion is expected for agriculture and irrigation, while Rs 2 billion will be set aside to invest in the Tharcoal project.

Meanwhile, Rs 2 billion will be distributed to Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas, larkana and Khairpur division each.

Sources also said that the government is planning to spend up to Rs 1 billion this year on the circular railway project in Karachi.

The chief minister is expected to announce 16,000 new government employments in different departments, apart from plans of 7,500 new recruitments in the police force, reliable sources said.

During the meeting, an increase of 10 per cent in salaries and pensions of provincial government employees was proposed as well as a raise in tax on property and imported whiskey, among other items.

Sources said the cabinet meeting also discussed initiating a public transport project worth Rs 0.5 billion with 200 new ‘special buses’, 50 of them for women with female drivers and bus conductors.

The meeting was attended by provincial ministers Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, Sharjeel Inam Memon, Manzoor Wassan, Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, Makhdoom Jamil- uz- Zaman, Dr. Sikandar Mandrio, Sardar Ali Nawaz Mahar, Adviser Finance, Syed Murad Ali Shah, Sindh Chief Secretary, Muhammad Aijaz Choudhry, Sindh Secretary Finance, Suhail Rajput, and other officials.

The budgetary proposals are expected to be finalised by Monday.

Asad Haroon
A netpreneur, blogger and above all; A Human :) Asad tweets from @aghaasadharoon and can also be approached on Google+

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