Sindh govt allocates Rs959bn to complete development schemes

Azeem Samar
Saturday, Jun 15, 2024

KARACHI: The Sindh government has reserved a total budget of Rs959 billion for carrying out development works in the province in the upcoming financial year.

This was disclosed by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah as he presented the provincial government’s budget for 2024-25 in the provincial assembly on Friday. In the outgoing financial year 2023-24, the government had allocated a total of Rs735.103 billion for development works.

Planning & Development and Energy Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah had informed the media this past Wednesday that the upcoming provincial budget does not contain new development schemes. Instead, there will be proper budgetary allocations for the completion of the ongoing development schemes in the province, he said.

During his speech in the House, the CM also mentioned that the budget for the upcoming financial year contained no new development scheme because of the impact of BSR (basic schedule of rates) and CSR (composite schedule of rates).

He told the PA that allocations for development projects constituted 31 per cent of the estimated total expenditures of the provincial government in the upcoming financial year.

The volume of the provincial annual development programme (ADP) excluding development projects funded by foreign donor agencies is Rs493 billion in the upcoming financial year. In the outgoing financial year the provincial ADP stood at Rs380.5 billion.

There is an allocation of Rs334 billion in the new financial year for foreign-funded development projects in the province. In the outgoing financial year, the same allocation stood at Rs266.7 billion.

The Sindh government has allocated a sum of Rs55 billion for the district ADP for the upcoming financial year. In the outgoing financial year the provincial government had allocated Rs30 billion for the district ADP.

The provincial government is estimated to receive Rs77 billion from the federal government under its Public Sector Development Programme for funding uplift schemes in the province.

The CM informed the PA that Rs25 billion has been allocated for the development of proper housing schemes in the province. He said that Rs5 billion has been allocated for building an enclave complex in Korangi in Karachi with educational, residential, training, healthcare and recreational facilities.

The Sindh government has allocated Rs5 billion to continue its drive to build solar energy initiatives in the province. Another allocation of Rs5 billion is for expanding the capacity of the Hub canal dam as one of the bulk water supply sources for Karachi.

The CM said his government has set an ambitious target of constructing an additional one million houses for the flood-affected people in the new financial year. The Sindh government has already built 125,000 houses for the flood victims, and at least 550,000 are in various stages of completion.

For this massive development initiative to build residential units, the government launched the Sindh Peoples Housing Project with $500 million of the World Bank’s assistance supplemented by the provincial government’s share of $227 million.

The CM told the House that during the preparation of ADP 2024-25, the Sindh government decided to complete a maximum number of schemes continued for the last 10 years.“Therefore, full funds are provided equivalent to current throw-forward till date to the schemes with expenditures more than 70 per cent or having current throw-forward less than Rs50 million,” he said.

“Similarly, 50 per cent allocation is provided to those schemes having current throw-forward in between Rs50 million and Rs100 million. There were other regular schemes which have been provided 20 per cent allocation of current throw-forward due to fiscal constraints.”

There are 4,250 ongoing schemes with an allocation of Rs305.496 billion, being 79 per cent of the total ADP. There are 395 unapproved schemes that were part of the ADP 2023-24 that could not be approved during the year due to the ban imposed by the Election Commission of Pakistan, and would continue again as unapproved schemes in the ADP 2024-25 with an allocation of Rs92.87 billion, being 24 per cent of the total ADP.Some 552 ongoing schemes where more than 70 per cent expenditure is made have been fully funded for completion by June 2025. As many as 849 ongoing schemes with current throw-forward less than Rs50 million have been fully funded for completion by June 2025. Around 858 small nature ongoing schemes have been fully funded for completion by June 2025.

Those schemes where tenders are not issued and require cost increase due to CSR-2024 will be provided additional funds from the block allocation of Rs80 billion kept in the ADP.Through this strategy, out of the total 4,644 schemes continued in the ADP 2024-25, there will be 1,812 schemes that have been provided with full funds and are likely to be completed in 2024-25.

The CM said that as far as development expenditure is concerned, Sindh is in dire need of infrastructural development post-2022 flood devastation. “Because of the unwavering support of international donor agencies, we were able to steer the development activities in the last two years on a sustainable basis. I would like to thank all the international donor agencies for their support and commitment to the Sindh government.”