Karachi (Web Desk): Sindh budget with an outlay of Rs1241 for next financial year 2020-21 was presented on Wednesday.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah who also holds the portfolio of Finance presented the annual budget in the Sindh Assembly.
The budget session began under Speaker Assembly Agha Siraj Durrani.
In his speech, Murad Ali Shah said that he is honoured to present the budget for the eighth time.
He said that despite difficult circumstances, he is presenting the budget for the financial year 2020-20, adding that the COVID-19 is primarily a threat to the existing health system.
Shah said that the Sindh government has formed Rs3 billion Corona Emergency Fund and Sindh took the initiative for the lockdown and the other provinces followed suit.
The Sindh CM said that from the Rs3 billion, the provincial government paid Rs1.3 billion while Rs1.7 billion were given by the provincial employees.
“In 2020-21, the estimate of expenditure on Health Risk Allowance is Rs1.0 billion,” he said, adding that the testing capacity for the virus has been raised to 11,450 daily.
Shah said that there are 81 quarantine centres in all the districts with 8,266 beds and in June 2020 it has been increased to 8,616.
“101 additional ventilators were bought and a local hospital at Karachi’s Nipa Chowrangi was given a grant of Rs2.0 billion,” the Sindh CM said.
“A committee was formed to give timely and adequate facilities,” he said, adding that the committee bought machinery and tools worth Rs2.43 billion to deal with the pandemic.
“For the education sector, Rs21.1 billion have been allocated for 11 new, unapproved projects. For the 265 pre-existing schemes and four new ones, Rs 13.2 billion were set aside,” the Sindh CM added.
Among other recommendations as per the budget documents, a sum of Rs5 billion was allocated to deal with the pandemic measures. The documents showed that there was no new agricultural research scheme in the provincial budget.
The recommendations also included the allocation of Rs7.2 billion and Rs1.86 billion for Malir Expressway and Karachi-Thatta double-track road, respectively.
The Sindh CM announced that the salaries of Grade 1-16 government employees would be increased 10%, while those of Grade 17-21 would receive a 5% raise.
The upward revision, however, would not be applicable to provincial ministers and Sindh cabinet, he added.