HomeDomesticSindh Govt presents Rs 3.056.27 trillion development, social protection-oriented budget

Sindh Govt presents Rs 3.056.27 trillion development, social protection-oriented budget

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KARACHI, Jun 14 (APP): Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Friday presented a Rs. 3.056.27 trillion development and social protection-oriented budget of the province for the next fiscal year 2024-25 on the floor of Provincial Assembly of Sindh.

The next fiscal year’s budget marks 34 percent increase over budget estimates of Rs. 2,282.58 billion in current year 2023-24.

The chief minister, who also holds the portfolio of the Sindh Finance Minister in his budget speech, proposed a hike of 22 to 30 percent in salaries and a significantly higher development expense of Rs 959 billion, which accounts for 31 percent of the outlay.
While terming as the balanced budget, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that the budget mainly centred around the rehabilitation of flood-affected people and social protection for the poor.

The total projected revenue for the province is Rs. 3 trillion. The majority of this comes from federal transfers 62 percent, followed by provincial receipts 22 percent. The remaining receipts are through current capital receipts of Rs. 22 billion, foreign project assistance of Rs. 334 billion, other federal grants in the form of PSDP of Rs. 77 billion, foreign grants of Rs. 6 billion and a carryover cash balance of Rs. 55 billion.

Provincial Receipts of Rs. 662 billion comprise Sales Tax on Services of Rs. 350 billion, Tax excluding GST of Rs. 269 billion, and provincial non-tax receipts of Rs. 42.9 billion.  These funds are strategically allocated 63 percent or Rs. 1.9 trillion goes towards Current Revenue, 6 percent or Rs. 184 billion for Current Capital, and the remaining 31 percent or Rs. 959 billion is dedicated to Development Expenditure.

Murad Ali Shah said that a hefty 30 percent increase in salary of employees of BPS-1 to BPS-6 with Personal Allowance2024 for them have been proposed. He said this relief has been provided to them in order to bring their monthly salary at the level of minimum wage Rs. 37,000 as announced by the federal government.

He said that such remarkable step shall provide a huge relief to the existing staff serving in the non-gazetted category, to cater the challenge of inflation.

Whereas, for the employees in BS-7 to BS-16 increase of 25 percent and for the category of BS-17 and above 22 percent increase in salary have been proposed.
He further said that 15 percent increase in pension of retired employees has been proposed in the budget.

Shah said that considering the surging inflation and increasing cost of living, minimum wage for labour has been proposed as Rs. 37,000 for FY 2024-25.

Salaries account for the largest portion 38 percent, followed by grants 27 percent directed towards various programs.  Non-salary expenses 21percent encompass operational costs, transfers, interest payments, maintenance, and repairs.

Employee pensions and retirement benefits claim the remaining 14 percent of current expenditures. Current Capital Expenditure includes repayments of loans and others of a budgeted amount of Rs. 42 billion and Government Investment of Rs. 142.5 billion.

Development Expenditure includes Provincial ADP excluding Foreign Project Assistance of Rs. 493 billion, Foreign Project Assistance of Rs. 334 billion, Other Federal Grants through PSDP of Rs. 77 billion, and District ADP of Rs. 55 billion. The Sindh provincial budget prioritizes investment in social services.  Education receives the largest allocation at Rs. 519 billion, with Rs. 454 billion dedicated to current revenue expenditure.

Healthcare follows closely with a total allocation of Rs. 300 billion. Local government rounds out the top three with a proposed budget of Rs. 329 billion. The budget also allocates significant resources to key infrastructure sectors: Rs. 58 billion for agriculture (including Rs. 32 billion for current expenditure), Rs. 77 billion for energy (with Rs. 62 billion for ongoing costs), Rs. 94 billion for irrigation (with Rs. 36 billion for current expenses), Rs. 86 billion for Works & Services, and Rs. 30 billion for Planning and Development.

This focus on education, health, local government and infrastructure development reflects the government’s commitment to long-term growth and well-being for the people of Sindh.
The remaining major departments include Transport (Rs. 56 billion), Works and Services (Rs. 86 billion), SG&CD (Rs. 153 billion), and Home (Rs. 194 billion). Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah prioritized social and economic well-being, particularly in the wake of recent floods.

He said that the salary increases of 22-30 percent and pension hikes of 15 percent aimed to bolster financial security. A significant allocation of RS. 34.9 billion targets pro-poor initiatives, directly assisting vulnerable populations. The budget includes RS. 116 billion in subsidies to ease the financial burden on citizens, he said.

A dedicated Rs. 25 billion will be directed towards housing schemes, promoting access to safe and secure shelter. This multi-faceted approach reflects the government’s commitment to strengthening the province’s social safety net and fostering economic recovery.
The CM said that the Sindh provincial budget extended its focus beyond immediate relief measures. Several new initiatives target the long-term development of the province’s economy and social well-being, he said.

A Rs. 8 billion allocation will provide financial support to 12 million farmers, bolstering the agricultural backbone of Sindh under Hari Card. Rs. 5 billion allocations to build a Complex to offer education, rehabilitation, training, accommodation, clinical services, recreation and other facilities within a compound at Korangi along the Malir Expressway.

Fiscal Decentralization in Police, for the first time 485 police station specific budget has been allocated to enable them to meet their fuel, repair & maintenance, and day-to-day expenditures to serve communities.

A Rs. 5 billion allocation over five years will be directed towards distributing solar home systems, and promoting clean energy access. A dedicated Rs. 5 billion will fund the construction of a new canal to provide water to Karachi under Hub project.
Under Mazdoor Card a Rs. 5 billion welfare program will provide support for labourers “mazdoors” in Sindh.

As per the Pro-Poor Initiatives to ensure social upward mobility, the Budget allocates Rs. 11 billion to agriculture, Rs. 12 billion for social protection, Rs. 3.2 billion for Universities & Board, Rs. 2 billion for Housing and Town Planning and Rs. 1.5 billion for DEPD.

The Sindh provincial budget prioritizes investment in human capital through significant grants for education and healthcare.  Major grants amount to a total of Rs. 190 billion, with Rs. 35 billion specifically earmarked for universities across Sindh.

He said that these grants will also support major hospitals and medical institutes like SIUT, NICVD, Indus Hospital, SICHN, and Trauma Centers. This targeted funding aims to strengthen educational institutions and improve access to quality healthcare services for the people of Sindh.

The chief minister said that Rs. 292 million have been proposed as grant in aid/ endowment funds for various Press Clubs and Deserving Journalists. Rs. 66 million are proposed as grant in aid for Sindh Information Commission in pursuance of enactment of Sindh Transparency and Right to Information Act 2016.

Furthermore, Rs.50 million are kept as grant in aid for Journalists and Other Media Practitioners in pursuance of enactment of “Sindh Protection of Journalists and Other Media Practitioners Act 2021”.

He said that Rs.170 million has been allocated for various religious occasions across the province and a provision of Rs.1.557 billion has been earmarked for Minorities Affairs for FY 2024-25. Rs. 20 billion are placed for Ramzan Relief Package 2025, he added.
He said that Rs. 1 billion were kept as a lump sum provision for production of dramas, films, documentaries etc. This initiative, he told is aimed at reviving the showbiz industry of Sindh and attracting new talent.

In the end, he said we have untapped resources and unlimited potential. The key is utilization and utilization is only possible when we all come together to work for one goal, he said.

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