Sindh budget likely to have Rs722 billion outlayArchive
KARACHI: The Sindh budget for 2015-16 scheduled to be presented in the provincial assembly by Finance Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Saturday is likely to have an outlay of Rs722 billion against the previous year’s over Rs686 billion, according to sources in the finance department.
They said it would be a deficit budget with a non-development folio of Rs508 billion, the deficit being at Rs16 billion.
A sum of Rs205 billion is said to have been allocated under the head of development expenditure.
Also read: Punjab Assembly presented budget with outlay of Rs1.4tr
The provincial receipts are estimated to be a little over Rs132 billion compared to Rs125.06 billion expected last year.
Government employees are likely to get 10 per cent pay raise while the minimum monthly salary and pension may be fixed at Rs13,000.
With a 10-15 per cent increase, the allocation for education sector has been tipped to go up to Rs133-Rs144 billion while the health sector is expected to get an allocation of Rs53 billion for the next fiscal.
The major chunk of Rs106 billion in the education budget has reportedly been earmarked under the non-development head with Rs2.503 billion being spared for education secretariat and Rs2 billion for unforeseen expenditure.
According to sources, the allocation for the Sindh Education Foundation has been increased from Rs2 billion to Rs3.29 billion, Rs10 billion has been earmarked for education development schemes, and Rs2 billion for 71 new development schemes and Rs8 billion for the completion of 124 ongoing schemes. For the Sindh Technical & Vocational Training Authority, the allocation has been increased from Rs2 billion to Rs3.25 billion while a sum of Rs2 billion has been earmarked for free books.
The finance minister is likely to suggest recruitment of 43,000 headmasters in grade-17 through the Sindh Public Service Commission and an allocation of Rs1.75 billion for school management committees.
The sources believe that a sum of Rs65 billion is being earmarked for law and order with allocation for the police to be at Rs60 billion and the Sindh Rangers at Rs2.44 billion. The Frontier Constabulary will get Rs1 billion in addition to Rs5 billion meant for procuring modern weapons. The proposals on law and order include raising of a 10,000-men anti-terror force.
An amount of Rs2 billion is to be set aside for the local government election in the province. The allocation for local government institutions is proposed to be at Rs49 billion.
The Annual Development Programme is estimated to be at Rs200 billion to complete the 2,370 ongoing schemes and execute 590 new schemes.
The sources say the budget has more emphasis on development sector with planning for modernisation of cities. The increase in allocation for urban projects is aimed at ensuring a better transport system and availability of clean drinking water. For the rural areas, priorities have been accorded to development projects relating to the lining of canals a better civic infrastructure to the benefit of common man.
A sum of Rs4 billion has been spared for the K-IV water project and Rs3 billion for the Rapid Bus Transport System and a light train service for Karachi.
The budget is likely to envisage special development packages for Sukkur and Hyderabad.
Establishment of a high-security prison and a DNA laboratory is also likely to get suitable priorities.
Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2015
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