KARACHI – It is encouraging that the PPP-led government has presented the final budget of its five-year term, but it is disappointing that the ruling party has backed out of its promises and commitments it made to the people in the light of its manifesto. This was stated in a paper, Policy Critique of Federal Budget 2012-2013 & Sindh’s Case, issued by the Sindh Democratic Forum (SDF), a think tank, on Sunday. The paper that comprised a set of recommendations was emailed to PPP Co-Chairman Asif Zardari and Federal Minister for Finance as post-budget feedback. This year again Sindh is the victim of ‘over centralised’ policies of the federation and PPP government that the people of Sindh gave heavy mandate for protection of their socio-economic and political rights. The budget of the federal government as well as the forthcoming budget and plans of the provinces are without focus and broader strategic framework. The holistic and integrated view of the development needs of the country and federating units is missing which makes the budget making exercise as ceremonial, Zulfiqar Halepoto, leader of the SDF said in the paper. The paper criticised government’s allocated Rs 47,192.3 million for the water and power sector in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the year 2012-13 for 78 ongoing and new projects, including Greater Thal Canal, raising of Mangla Dam, Kachhi Canal (Phase-1) and other projects, without consultation and consent of the province. It criticised the discussions on GST on services in budget document which is a clear violation of the spirit of ‘18th amendment’ and ‘NFC Formula’ as GST on services is already declared as provincial subject then why there were talk of more discussions with provinces. The paper criticised the poor performance of the Sindh government over non-utilisation of 50 per cent of annual development budget. The SDF considered the lack of institutional capacity and corruption in planning and budget functions in the provincial government responsible of laps of billions of rupees which could have utilized for the provision of safe drinking water, health facilities, transportation and other basic services to the poor people of the province. The paper suggested that on this ground, ethically the Sindh finance minister and chief minister should resign immediately for their criminal negligence on part of planning and execution of funds and projects in the province. PPP leadership to take the teams of P&D and Finance Department to task and make them accountable, it was further demanded by SDF.The paper further said that Energy should be top priority for the country, and is considered as engine of growth yet the allocation for Thar coal are discouraging. Thus, proactive and better allocation for development of Thar Coal may be ensured in addition to investment to the Thar Coal gasification project. Federal Government under its PSDP program, and by mobilizing and utilizing the grants and international aid, has failed to prioritize Thar Coal in the national interest. Mere Rs 60 billion allocation for energy sector is another example of ‘seriousness’ of the government.The economy of Sindh is dependent of agriculture, thus, agriculture policy and strategic framework may immediately be formulated preferably by an independent commission on agriculture based on status and potential of agriculture in the province and important sectors should be given to provinces which are still controlled by another federal ministry for ‘food security’ which is the violation of 18th amendment. Proper and just share of Sindhis in employment in federal government departments, corporations and the armed forces of Pakistan also demanded in the paper. Besides, paper pointed out that Sindh does not have senior level representation in the department Economic Affair, Finance and Planning Commission which may be ensured. The paper further said The Sukkur and Gudu barrages of Sindh are in dire need of rehabilitation and modernization, which, the Government should take up on priority. The Gudu barrage with a hydro power plant of 85 megawatts requires about 20 billion rupees, while Sukkur commissioned in 1932 will also need 20 billion rupees. The paper mentioned all other barrages located in Punjab on River Indus have recently been modernized and rehabilitated.