CM orders releasing Rs397bn to complete uplift projects

Our Correspondent
Thursday, Feb 29, 2024

Newly elected Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has directed the provincial finance and planning & development (P&D) departments to release the remaining funds of Rs397.4 billion to enable the timely completion of the ongoing and new development projects for the greater benefit of the public.

Shah issued these instructions during a meeting he chaired on Wednesday to review Sindh’s financial position and the development expenditures. The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Dr Fakhre Alam, Principal Secretary to CM Agha Wasif, P&D Board Chairman Shakeel Mangnejo, Finance Secretary Kazim Jatoi and other relevant officers.

Mangnejo said that the development budget for the current financial year is Rs735.1 billion, including the provincial annual development programme (ADP) of Rs385.5 billion, ongoing development schemes of Rs292.1 billion, new schemes of Rs93.4 billion, district ADP of Rs30 billion, foreign projects of Rs226.7 billion and federal grant schemes of Rs52.9 billion.

The CM was told that against an allocated budget of Rs735.1 billion, the finance department has released Rs337.7 billion, against which expenditures during the last seven months have been recorded at Rs263.8 billion.

On this the CM directed Dr Alam to direct all the departments to get their new schemes approved by the Provincial Development Working Party so that their tenders can be issued. Shah directed the finance department to release the remaining funds of Rs397.4 billion so that the ongoing projects can be completed and the new schemes can be started.

Federal receipts

Briefing the CM, Jatoi reported that the federal government had to transfer Rs805 billion under revenue assignments, straight transfers and octroi & Zila tax grants to the Sindh government in the first seven months of 2023-24.

However, he pointed out, the Centre only released Rs731 billion, resulting in a shortfall of Rs74 billion. The CM noted that federal transfers to the provincial government usually increase during the final months of the financial year.

In response to a question, the CM was told that in addition to Rs731 billion, the federal government had transferred Rs12 billion up to January 2024 as arrears of last year’s federal collections.

The CM was informed that the provincial revenue for the ongoing financial year is estimated at Rs469.9 billion. However, during the first seven months, the total revenue was expected to be Rs274.1 billion, but the actual revenue collected was Rs254.2 billion, resulting in a shortfall of Rs19.9 billion. He mentioned that the revenue usually increases in the final months of a fiscal year.