KARACHI – The Sindh government has claimed that realising the importance of education, a massive allocation of Rs111.96 billion, including ADP of Rs12.39 billion, has been proposed in Financial Year 2012-13, which indicates a surge of 50 per cent as compared to its last year’s allocation to the sectors. According to Sindh Minister for Finance, Syed Murad Ali Shah, there have been significant breakthrough in education sector which included establishment of two new universities, seven cadet colleges including two girls cadet colleges at Shaheed Benazirabad and Larkana, establishment of four engineering colleges and institutes and one law college. It is pertinent to mention here that the provincial govt had allocated Rs7.73 billion for education sector last year with an increase of 15 per cent.According to the document of current budget, “As many as 157 development schemes have been introduced in various sub sectors of education in the province at a cost of Rs.12.39 billion. These sub sectors included elementary education (13 schemes), teacher education (four schemes), Sindh Education Foundation (seven schemes), secondary education (34 schemes), college education (52 schemes), higher education (19 schemes) and miscellaneous (28 schemes). As many as Rs768.621million allocated for elementary education, Rs139.996 million for teacher education, Rs1,313.622 million for Sindh Education Foundation, Rs2,524.708 for secondary education, Rs4,117.430 for college education, Rs1,545.644 for higher education and Rs1,589.989 for miscellaneous accounts.”The minister claimed that the budget indicates 164 per cent jump over allocations of financial year 2007-08 (i.e. Rs.42.36 billion). The proposed development allocation is six times the allocation of Rs2.1 billion in 2007-08. The allocations for education constitute 20 per cent of total budgetary outlay, which is reflective of the overnment’s strong commitment towards the sector.During current financial year, Rs2.5 billion have been provided to districts for rehabilitation of schools damaged during rain and floods. The total funds allocated under the Sindh Education Reform Programme have been enhanced by 33 per cent to Rs9.62 billion against Rs7.38b provided in FY 2011-12. This included provision of textbooks to all school and college students, provision of annual stipends to girl students, developing regulatory framework for in-service and pre-service training, SMC grants, introduction of student achievement tests etc.The government has also conceived a number of new initiatives in the next financial year. Some of these include: Establishment of Public Schools at Sanghar, Tando Muhammad Khan, TandoAllahyar, Ghotki & Matiari and a Cadet College at Khairpur. Establishment of cluster schools in Shaheed Benazirabad. Establishment of Engineering College at Thatta and Mirpurkhas. Setting up of a Women University at Sukkur, University of Sufism and Modern Sciences at Hala and Sindh University Campuses at Badin, Thatta, Dadu and Mirpurkhas. BUDGET FOR HEALTH SECTOR: The finance minister claimed that the government has allocated Rs49.52b, including ADP of Rs.14.80b, for the Financial Year 2012-13, which is reflective of the importance attached to the strengthening of health services in the province. He said, “This is almost thrice the allocation of Rs17 billion in Financial Year 2007-08. The proposed development spending is almost six times the allocation of Rs1.4 billion in 2007-08. Overall, spending on health constitutes approximately one tenth of total budgetary outlay.”Conversely, in the last financial year, the government allocated Rs6.93 billions for health sector. The government has setup Multi Organ Transplant center at Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) Karachi at the cost of Rs5,000 million, while Shaheed Benazir Bhutto International University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences main campus at Sakrand and campus at Larkana at the cost of Rs3,000 million.As per budget document, “As many as 156 development schemes, including 59 new and 97 on-going have been introduced in various sub sectors of health at a cost of Rs11 billion. The sub sectors included teaching hospital (37 schemes), other hospitals (87 schemes), medical education (10 schemes), PHC Admn/Training (4 schemes), Nutrition (one schemes), Preventive Programme (15 schemes) and foreign aided (two schemes). However, Rs2,701.172 million allocated for teaching hospital, Rs5,576.711 million for other hospitals, 662.792 million for medical education, Rs124.954 for PHC Admn/Training, Rs40 for Nutrition, Rs1,814.085 for Preventive Programme and Rs80.286 for foreign aided.” It is pertinent to mention here that the minister claimed that Rs14.80 billion have been allocated for ADP (Annual Development Programme), while the budget book says it is Rs11 billion.The government has claimed that during current Financial Year, pay package of Rs485million for Nursing Cadre, Midwifery, Lady Health Visitors, Student Nurses, Pupil Midwifery and Student LHVs has been announced. There is also demand for increase of salary for paramedical staff which is under consideration. In addition, realising the emergent needs of the sector, many initiatives have been taken during the current financial year. “Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Medical College at Lyari has started MBBS classes in renovated building of Nursing School and work has been initiated on the new building. Construction work of Ghulam Muhammad Mahar Medical College at Sukkur at a cost of Rs1.911 billion has started. Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Accident, Emergency and Trauma Centre at Civil Hospital, Karachi is at the advanced stage of completion. Dedicated units for Thalesemia, Burns, Urology and Cardiology have been established in all the Teaching Hospitals and also at Civil Hospital Mirpurkhas. The government has spent over Rs120 million in the current financial year for strengthening of TB Programme. Under the DHQ-THQ project, Operation Theaters, Diagnostic Laboratory and residential blocks have been established at Khairpur while Emergency & Trauma Centre and residential blocks have been constructed at DHQ Hospital Shikarpur. A 300-bed hospital at Badin and 200-bed hospital at TandoMuhammad Khan have been established. Expansion of taluka headquarters hospitals at Kotri and TandoAllahyar have also been carriedout. However, proposals for next financial year are: The Chief Minister’s Initiative for the Prevention and Control of Hepatitis in Sindh with an allocation of Rs one billion. The extension of services of SIUT at a cost of Rs500 million and a children’s hospital at SIUT Karachi at the cost of Rs200 million. In addition, Rs2 billion are proposed as grant-in-aid for SIUT. Expansion and improvement of DHQ Hospitals at Thatta, Jacobabad, Nausheroferoze, Mirpurkhas, Dadu, MirpurMathelo and Ghotki. Procuring a PET Scan Machine with cyclotron for Civil Hospital Karachi.