Murad orders expediting work on health dept’s schemes

Our Correspondent
Sunday, May 29, 2022

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has directed the provincial works and services department of the Sindh government to expedite work on 26 development schemes in the public health sector so that they could be completed by June 2022.

“These are schemes of expansion of existing hospitals and some new health facilities; therefore, they must be completed in time in the public interest,” he said while presiding over a meeting to review the development portfolio of the health sector on Saturday.

The meeting was attended by Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Principal Secretary to the CM Fayaz Jatoi, Finance Secretary Sajid Jamal Abro, Health Secretary Zulfikar Shah, Special Secretary to CM Rahim Shaikh, Works and Services Secretary Imran Atta Soomro, Additional Finance Secretary Shuhab Ansari and others.

The CM was told that 171 development schemes had been launched in the health sector for Rs18.4 billion, of which 96 schemes worth Rs11.3 billion were ongoing projects and 75 were new schemes worth Rs7 billion.

It was disclosed that the government had released Rs7.8 billion for the 96 ongoing schemes and Rs3.1 billion of that sum had been utilised.

Similarly, Rs3.35 billion had been released for 75 new schemes, of which Rs1.17 billion utilised. To this, the CM stated that he had released 60 per cent of the allocated amount, but the utilisation had been only 29 per cent.

The health department officials pointed out that of the 75 new schemes, 27 had been approved and work on them had started.

The planning and development board had approved 16 schemes while 23 projects awaited approval from provincial and federal forums, the meeting was told. The preparation of the PC-I for 25 schemes was also under process.

It was pointed out that the key challenges causing a delay in the completion of schemes were dollar-rupee parity and imposition of 20 per cent GST that had escalated the cost of schemes.

The CM directed the planning and finance departments to resolve the issues related to the cost escalation of the schemes. He also directed the works and services department to take necessary measures to complete 36 schemes by June 2022.