KARACHI-Sindh Assembly on Saturday concluded its debate onthe Rs2.2 trillion budget for the fiscal year 2023-24 as 80 lawmakers from both sides of the aisle took part in the five-day discussion amidst absence from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf—except few dissident MPAs.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Saturday said that during the last five years, the Sindh government collected Rs5 trillion (from fed govt and provincial resources), of them Rs2.6 trillion were spent on salaries, retirement benefits, and pension of the government employees.
“We have spent Rs442 billion in the non-development expenditures of local government, Rs909 billion on education, including Rs48.9 billion on grants universities.” He said this while winding up a debate on the budget 2023-24 here on the floor of the provincial assembly of Sindh.
The Chief Minister said that it was his 11th speech to wind up annual budgets. He said that so far, he had made 18 speeches, including five as opposition member. “My association with the Sindh assembly was since 1972 when he had sat in the gallery,” he recalled and went on saying that his father, former chief minister of Sindh Syed Abdullah Shah had the honor to preside over the then session in which Ghulam Rasool Kehar was elected as assembly speaker.
Murad Shah said that in the past opposition members were not allowed to speak in the assembly. “Even the then speaker had banned my entry in the assembly,” he recalled and then said it was the PPP government, which had established a new tradition of giving maximum time to the opposition member to speak in the houses since 2008. Though he could not attend the session, but he had the record of each and every speech, including Nand Kumar, Khwaja Izhar Mohammad Hussain and others.
In 2008, our leader Shaheed Mohterma Benazir Bhutto was killed, and people had come out to cast vote in favor of PPP. ‘We did better than 2008 in 2013 and better than 2013 in 2018.’ He alleged that former PM Imran Khan not gave a single scheme in the province. He used to speak reluctantly with him during the meetings. “We served the city and out of 25 have won 13 UCs in local bodies election,” he said.
1970 there were only 7 seats, of them 2 PPP had won and two Jamaat and one independent PPP had bagged 200754 votes while Jamat had taken 168,000 votes. The city which belonged to Shaheed Bhutto. “ye shahre karachi Bhutto (this city of Karachi belongs to Bhutto),’ he said.
He said that MQM-P had shown lack of maturity for a few years. He urged MQM-P not to blame PPP for its weaknesses.
The Chief Minister said that they had seen the first disaster was Imran Khan as prime minister. The other one was COVID-19 and then they had seen the unprecedented rains. When PM Shahbaz Sharif visited Sindh, he saw rainwater accumulated all over Sindh, he asked and said the provincial government would not be able to grow wheat. Our government made all-out efforts and grew record wheat crop, he said. He said that 8 per cent relief to the people was given by the provincial government. The affected people were given cash through the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP).
Murad Shah gave a complement to Education Minister Syed Sardar Shah for delivering an impressive speech. He further said that his government started making projects just after receiving devastating floods. “We talked to the world bank, the Asian Bank and other donor agencies and managed to get funds to rehabilitate the devastated people.
The federal government had been talking to reach a deal with IMF for a loan of $1.2 billion but we managed $.23 billion facility. The world Bank Regional Director and the Country director visited Sindh last week and they appreciated the provincial government for doing an excellent job for rehabilitation of the flood affected people.
Syed Murad Ali Shah said that our development outlay had been pitched at Rs700 billion. He said that during the last five-year the Sindh government had received Rs3.8 trillion from the federal government and the provincial government’s revenues were Rs1.2 trillion. In this way, during the last five year, the Sindh government had spent Rs5 trillion.
Development: During last five years, the Sindh government had utilized Rs840 billion on development. He disclosed that 1061 schemes have been launched in the Karachi.
K-IV project was started in 2002, Mr. Shah said and added that in 2007 the problems started. The K-IV was a 260 MGD project launched for Rs29.5 billion. The pre-feasibility was made in 2002 and its cost was Rs42 billion. The essential components were not included. The CM said that the KWSB had made the K-IV scheme and its alignment was approved by the then mayor. Murad Ali Shah said that he has arranged Rs100 billion for the K-IV augmentation. He said that he raised the issues of census and therefore the population of the province increased.