As the provinces are presenting their budgets for the upcoming Fiscal Year 2021-22, Sindh has revealed a Rs1.4779 trillion budget on 15th June.
Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah, who also holds the portfolio of the finance minister, presented his third budget, while the legislative assembly echoed with a noisy protest and whistles by the three major opposition parties in the province.
The development took a big chunk, as the province saw a 41 percent increase YoY, and Rs329 billion was allocated to it in the upcoming FY21.
CM Sindh expressed regret over the shortfall in federal transfers to the second-most-populous province of Pakistan, with a value of Rs869.68 for the upcoming fiscal year.
He talked about the impact of the ongoing pandemic on the economy of the country and on the lives of ordinary citizens. He said, “We are sensitive to the hardships being faced by the common man and it was against this background that we stretched our resources and rolled out interventions that could provide some immediate relief.”
He added, “It hurt us in many ways. I bow my head in respect to every citizen, for the endurance shown in facing what was an undeniably a tough year for all our physical and mental well-being.”
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The budget will be a deficit with Rs1.452 trillion estimated revenue and Rs1.4779 trillion in expenditures. This will be an Rs25.74 billion deficit for the upcoming fiscal year 2021-22.
According to the document, the Provincial Tax receipts will be Rs154.95 billion, and the Provincial Sales Tax on Services will amount to Rs150 billion. The non-tax receipts for the upcoming fiscal year will be Rs24.38 billion, making it a total of Rs329.32billion in receipts and sales tax.
The receipts such as Foreign Project Assistance, Other Federal Grants, and Foreign Grants will add Rs86.067 billion, with Rs71.163 billion, Rs5.369 billion, and Rs9.535 billion to be received from these three sources, respectively.
On the expenditure side, the current revenue expenditure will be Rs1.089 trillion, making it the biggest contribution to the expenditure, and the current capital expenditure will be Rs59.498 billion.
The Annual Development Plans (ADP) for the province will get funding of Rs329.03 billion from the provincial government, federal grants, foreign assistance, and district funds.
The Sindh government also announced a 20% increase in salaries of government employees while setting the minimum wage in the province to Rs25,000. 3,000 jobs in various departments were also announced. These facts were reiterated by Advisor to Chief Minister Sindh on Law & Environment, Spokesperson Sindh Government Murtaza Wahab Siddiqui.
— Murtaza Wahab Siddiqui (@murtazawahab1) June 15, 2021
Here is the breakdown of some sectors of the economy as mentioned in the budget document 2021-22.
In the health sector, an allocation of Rs172 billion is proposed against an allocation of RS132.88 billion in 2020-21. For the upcoming fiscal year 2021-22, the ADP of health is pitched at Rs18.5 billion.
According to the budget document, the next financial year will witness an increase of 30% in total allocation for the Health Sector including medical education.
The document added, Rs7.6 billion has been allocated in the next financial year 2021-22 with an overall increase of 10% for 09 vertical Programs to combat/control Polio, TB, Aids, Lady Health Worker Program, Hepatitis control, and expanded program for Immunization, to name a few.
Prevention & Control of Hepatitis will get Rs2.04 billion while the Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Health Program will get Rs315.9 million, to mention a few.
The minister mentioned that around 62 health-related schemes are likely to be completed by June 2021, a majority of which will improve health service provision to the people of Sindh.
It is worth mentioning that the GoS has allocated Rs24.72 billion to deal with the ongoing pandemic.
The province has seen an increase of 13.5 percent in the disbursement to the education sector of the province. The upcoming fiscal year 2021-22 will see an allocation of Rs277.5 billion to the education sector, up from Rs244.5 billion in the outgoing fiscal year.
The annual development plan for the provincial education sector was Rs21.1 billion, focused on school education, college education, universities, empowerment for persons with disabilities, and skill development. The upcoming fiscal year will see the ADP fund of Rs26 billion for the sector.
For the next financial year 2021-22, the budget of the School Education & Literacy Department has been increased to Rs.222.102 billion, compared with Rs.197.368 billion for the financial year 2020-21.
For the next financial year 2021-22, the budget of College Education has been increased 11.8% to Rs.22.8 billion, compared with Rs20.446 billion for the financial year 2020-21. For College Education Department, an allocation of Rs. 4 billion has been proposed in ADP 2021-22 for 43 ongoing and 64 new schemes.
In the current financial year, the grant for public sector universities was Rs11.07 billion. For the upcoming financial year, the volume of grants has been increased by 20% to Rs13.314 billion.
A strategy to encourage community-driven economic activities, focusing on supporting home-based businesses, small and medium enterprises, social protection, and economic sustainability package of Rs30.9 billion is proposed for the next financial year 2021-22.
Among some of the major programs were the Rs10 billion worth of cash transfers to individuals affected by COVID-19 under Sindh Peoples Support Program through Social Protection Strategic Unit, Social Welfare department.
The allocation for the Women Development Department has increased 64 percent from Rs348.58 million to Rs571.97 million, and an additional Rs320million have been earmarked under Provincial ADP 2021-22.
For minorities, the government of Sindh plans to start about 97 ADPs worth Rs1.154 billion in the upcoming fiscal year 2021-22.
Social Welfare Department has been allocated Rs.18.57 billion in the next fiscal year as compared to Rs1.8 billion in 2019-20. The ADP for the next financial year is projected at Rs290 million (an increase of 45% over ADP of Rs200 million of CFY)
For differently-abled people, the document mentions a couple of new initiatives in the Fiscal year 2021-22, including Survey and Data collection of Persons including Children with Disabilities in the Province is underway which will be completed in NFY; and strengthening of sports activities among the students with disabilities in the entire province, to mention a few.
For the next financial year, the Sindh government has increased ADP allocation for the transportation (road) sector to Rs38.2 billion from Rs19.1 billion. An allocation of Rs3.86 billion is kept for the maintenance of transport infrastructure.
CM Shah mentioned that Road Master Plan is being prepared for the next 20 years for the road network of Sindh province this also includes a survey of exiting 53000 Km Road network. GPS coordinates of all roads will be included in the road database. On the basis of these features, master planning will be carried out for the next 20 years.
The Government of Sindh has allocated Rs3.0 billion in FY2020-21 for the construction of underpasses and overhead bridges over railway crossing along the KCR route. Similarly, funds amounting to Rs2.0 billion are also allocated for underpasses and overhead bridges in the upcoming fiscal year 2021-22.
The minister said, that for the upcoming fiscal year, the Sindh government has allocated Rs6.5 billion for the procurement of Electric Buses.
Additionally, Rs304 million has been provided as the first tranche for completing the common corridor (BRT Green Line & BRT Red Line) in 2020-21. In 2020-21 ADP, an allocation for the sector was Rs6.5 billion, whereas, in the year 2021-22 the allocation has been increased to Rs8.2 billion.
The budget allocation for the Current Revenue Expenditure of the Energy Department is estimated at Rs23.26 billion, which includes Rs21 billion for clearance of outstanding liabilities of electricity dues of various government departments pertaining to DISCOs such as KE, HESCO, and SEPCO.
The ADP for the energy department is pitched at Rs2.5 billion for FY 2021-22. The budget mentions all the energy production and distribution-related projects to be carried out in huge detail.
Some people in the opposition criticized the provincial government for political discrimination in funds disbursement, which was rejected by the government, while the government side questioned the availability of PM Imran Khan’s recently promised funds to Karachi and Sindh as a whole.