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Tuesday, February 27, 2024  
16 Shaban 1445  

Sindh deserves more in federal PSDP, says CM Murad Ali Shah

Stresses need for 'more' in ending injustice being done with province

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has demanded the Centre to bring the province at par with other provinces in the federal Public Sector Development Programme.

“We are not happy with the projects given to the province. Sindh deserves more than that in the federal PSDP,” he said at the post-budget press conference in Karachi on Sunday.

Without naming the PTI, he alleged that the federal government did injustice to Sindh over the last first three and half years. “Some progress has been made in the last one and a half years in this regard, however, there is still a need to do a lot in this matter.”

Thatta and Badin have more threats from Cyclone Biparjoy, the chief minister said, adding: “We have to evacuate 8,000 to 9,000 families to safer places.”

Read: Sindh government announces 35% increase in salaries

He added that the provincial government has issued instructions to deputy commissioners of three districts. “We have also been in contact with the Corps Commander Karachi.”

He was of the view that the Jamaat-e-Islami should be thankful to the MQM-P for boycotting the local government elections, paving the way for the religious party to secure significant seats in the elections.

“They [JI] won so many seats in the elections thanks to the other party [MQM-P] which boycotted the elections,” he added.

Shah added that three UC chairmen of the PTI were locked up in Sindh. “They will remain in custody unless the courts order their release. It is the provincial government’s duty to bring them to cast their vote in the election for mayor of Karachi.”

The Sindh’s chief minister said that he had been involved with or had presented 14 out of a total of 59 budgets presented in the province’s history.

Read: Rs10b allocated for purchase of 500 buses in Sindh budget

“We presented a budget with the aim of continuing to serve the people,” he said.

“People wonder why the people of Sindh vote for the PPP,” Shah said, adding that a third consecutive term of the government was about to end. “They vote because we serve the people of Sindh.”

He claimed that the Sindh-ruling party would form local governments in every district of the province and have mayors in every metropolitan city.

Shah added that he had seen the other provinces, but the progress that had taken place in Sindh was because the province had stability. He said that Sindh had a single finance minister for five years while the Centre had had six in the same time span.

‘Record budget’

Shah said that the total outlay of Sindh’s 2023-24 budget was a record Rs2.25 trillion. Out of this, Shah said, Rs1.411 trillion was current revenue expenditure, Rs136 billion was current capital expenditure. He said that the Rs701 billion development budget was also a record.

Shah said that the biggest component of the revenue expenditure was education which came to around Rs247 billion. The other main components were health, law and order and local government.

He said that the province takes out loans for development schemes, but the money to be repaid had increased due to the depreciating value of the rupee against the dollar. He added that this had led to an increase in capital expenditure.

Shah added that the last year had begun on an optimistic note but floods had brought devastation to the province and had required funds to be released immediately.

He said that they were receiving around Rs6 billion under the federal PSDP, but a week’s negotiations had brought the number to Rs22.9 billion.

Shah said that Rs35 billion had been set aside for education from schools to technical training centers, while around Rs20 billion had been set aside for health most of which would be distributed as grants. He also said that Rs65 billion had been set aside for local governments.

Shah said that Rs8.5 billion had been set aside for public transportation which could be increased later. This would include the People’s Bus Service as well as the Yellow Line bus service.

He said that a false impression had been made that Karachi was not being given anything and only Rs12 billion had been allocated for the city while that allocation was for a single scheme. He said that a total of over Rs101 billion had been allocated for schemes in Karachi.

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Murad Ali Shah

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