KARACHI-The Sindh Assembly on Wednesday passed the Rs2.24 trillion budget for financial year 2023-24 by rejecting over 140 cut motions tabled by lawmakers belonging to Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, Grand Democratic Alliance and Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal with a majority vote amid continuous absence of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.
The Assembly with majority votes approved 160 demands for grants the year 2023-24 moved by Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, who also holds the portfolio of finance.
The house also approved Rs312 billion supplementary budget by accepting 71 demands for grants on supplementary expenditure for the fiscal 2022-23 and rejecting 20 cut motions of opposition members.
The chief minister said that out of Rs 312 billion supplementary budget, Rs55 billion was spent on rehabilitation of flood affected people, Rs55 billion on wheat subsidy, Rs19 billion on debt repayment, Rs5. 43 billion on health and Rs16 billion electricity payment.
Murad said that deficit in the budget for FY 2023-24 had been increased to Rs 42.2 bn from Rs. 37.79 bn while the development outlay, mainly aimed at rehabilitation of flood-affected people, had been reestimated to Rs735 b from 700.1b.
The total receipts are divided into five categories: current revenue receipts of Rs1.82tr, current capital receipts of Rs36.1bn, other receipts of Rs295.53bn, carryover cash balance of Rs45bn, and net public accounts of Rs10bn (including Rs5.585tr receipts and Rs5.575tr disbursements).
The current revenue receipts include Rs1.35tr of federal transfers in the form of revenue assignment (Rs1.23tr), straight transfers (Rs64.4bn), and grants of Rs33.7bn to offset losses due to abolished octroi and zila tax.
The current revenue receipts also include Rs202.9bn provincial tax receipts, Rs235bn provincial sales tax on services, and Rs32bn provincial non-tax receipts.
As for the current capital receipts, Rs6.1bn goes to local repayments and loans and Rs30bn to bank borrowing.
The “Other Receipts” head eyes foreign project assistance (FPA) of Rs266.7bn, other federal grants of Rs22.9bn, and foreign grants of Rs5.9bn.
In contrast, the estimated expenditure of Rs2.247tr included a current revenue expenditure of Rs1.41tr, current capital expenditure of Rs136.3bn and development expenditure of Rs735 bn.
The development expenditure includes the provincial annual development plan (ADP) of Rs380.5bn, foreign project assistance of Rs266.7bn, other federal grants of Rs22.9bn, and district ADP of Rs30bn
Tribute paid to Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto
Separately, PPP’s senior member Syed Qaim Ali Shah moved a supplementary resolution to pay rich tribute to their leader Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto on the eve of her 70th birthday.
“This Assembly resolves to honour the memory of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto on the occasion of her 70th birth anniversary. Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto consistently dedicated herself to the advancement of democracy, peace, and a promising future for the country. She endeavoured to uphold the supremacy of the constitution and the sovereign,’ of parliament in line with the principles set by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto,” the resolution read.
It added that the global recognition she received as the first female Prime Minister of Pakistan and the Muslim world is a matter of pride and honor for the people of Pakistan.
“Serving as the Prime Minister from 1988 to 1990 and 1993 to 1996, her tenure witnessed significant achievements in terms of building institutions, promoting economic growth, and ensuring political stability, all of which continue to be acknowledged internationally. The extraordinary legacy and unparalleled leadership ideals she left behind serve as a valuable source of inspiration for future generations. Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto fearlessly stood as a steadfast advocate of democracy and constitutionalism, undeterred by detractors. On her birth anniversary, celebrated annually on the 21st of June, this House pays homage to her lifelong struggle for the democracy and betterment of the nation,” the resolution read.
Speaking on a resolution, Qaim Ali Shah said Benazir Bhutto was the first women prime minister of the Islamic countries and was all over the world.
“She entered politics at a young age when Bhutto was in jail. The leadership skills of Benazir Bhutto will be remembered. There is no precedent for the leadership of Bhutto and Benazir,” he added. The resolution was adopted unanimously.