The Sindh government has increased its local government department’s budget from Rs62 billion to Rs62.5 billion for the incoming financial year 2023-24, according to Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah’s budget speech in the provincial assembly on Saturday.
Shah told the House that a large sum of Rs62.5 billion would be used for development under the local government’s, and housing and town planning projects.
“Along the same lines, a provision of Rs24.35 billion will be available for public health engineering and rural development projects, while the development portfolio for government buildings and the roads network under works & services will stand at Rs89.05 billion.”
Speaking about grants-in-aid, he said the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s (KMC) grant has been increased from Rs600 million to Rs650 million. As for the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, the Sukkur Municipal Corporation and the Larkana Municipal Corporation, their grants have been increased from Rs30 million to Rs45 million, he added.
These grants are given on a monthly basis to the KMC and the other municipal corporations to ensure the disbursement of pension and salaries to their employees.
According to the budget books’ volume V (Public Sector Development Programme), the Sindh solid waste management’s total allocation under the Sindh Local Government, Housing & Town Planning head, devoid of foreign project assistance (FPA), is Rs826 million. No new scheme has been included for the solid waste management programme.
In the outgoing financial year 2022-23 it was Rs1.5 billion, meaning there has been a reduction of Rs762 million in the allocation of solid waste management. There has also been a drastic reduction of allocation in the water supply and sanitation schemes from the year 2022-2023.
In the new fiscal year the water supply and sanitation programme has been allocated Rs2.6356 billion, with a total 440 development schemes, out of which 168 are new. In the year 2022-2023 the allocation was Rs35.884 billion, meaning there has been a 73 per cent decline in the estimation.
As for the development of roads under the Sindh Local Government, Housing & Town Planning head, the budget estimation without the FPA is Rs20.793 billion.
For the Mega Scheme for Karachi City, the provincial government has estimated an allocation of Rs12.524 billion, with a total of 20 schemes, out of which none is new. In the current fiscal year Rs10.820 billion was allocated for the city’s mega schemes.
The Sindh Transport & Mass Transit Department has been allocated Rs8.5 billion. In the outgoing fiscal year Rs8.2 billion was allocated for the transport department. The CM said in his budget speech that the financial estimates for the year 2023-24 for the advancement of the transport and mass transit system has been proposed to be Rs13.4 billion, with a 92 per cent increase over this year’s budget amount of Rs6.9 billion.
“The Government of Sindh is committed to provide safe and modern transport facilities at affordable prices to all citizens. In line with this, we have provided funds of Rs6.1 billion for the Sindh Intra-District Peoples Bus service this year,” he said.
“As an antidote to hiking fuel and fare prices, a one-time fare subsidy of Rs247 million has been provided to the Sindh Intra-District Peoples Bus to be passed on to the commuters,” he added. A provision of Rs2 billion has been made for the operations and the maintenance of the bus service.
In phase-II of the project, he said, a huge allocation of Rs10 billion has been made for the inclusion of a fleet of 500 diesel hybrid buses. “To facilitate employees of the Sindh secretariat, three new routes will start from next year, with a provision of Rs6 million.”
This story was originally published in The News