News Column

Sindh focuses on energy, education, law and order

June 18, 2014

Adviser on Finance, Murad Ali Shah has said that the province will be concentrating on such factors as law and order, tackling energy crisis and education.

Addressing a Tuesday post-budget press conference held at the CM House, he expressed his concerns over Sindh not being paid it share of grant and revenue for past three months, " a situation that has aggravated Provincial government's functioning", he complained.

Cautioning that such kind of delays in future could very well jeopardize the functioning of Provincial machinery, he outlined that a program similar to that of BISP (Benazir Income support program) , for which Rs 2 billion had been allocated.

He also cited massive loans being sought from State Bank of Pakistan, which was currently limited to Rs 15 billion, and was only enough for 6-month salaries of Provincial governmental employees: while an OD of Rs 25 billion was being sought from State Bank.

He said that a joint partnership endeavor was being sought to materialize the Thar-coal project, which would also help alleviate energy crisis: while he also cited a recently concluded accord between SSGC and HESCO which would be adding 100 MW of electricity during next 18 months time.

The advisor also lamented the condition of industry in interior Sindh, which would be tackled through Sindh Bank, while he also announced the starting of $ 2.6 billionKarachi Circular Railways programme within the current year.

Speaking on the occasion, the Additional Chief Secretary of Planning and Development Muhammad Arif Khan Malik said that Rs 230 billion developmental budgets had been increased, without affecting education, health and energy sectors.

He outlined major educational schemes in the offing "for the first time ever", citing Rs 15 billion worth of solar power refrigerators for preservation of vaccines in schools; besides a Rs 1.6 billion pilot project of 12-bed hospital in lieu of health related project.

Secretary Excise and Taxation Waseem Ahmad Ursani announced that 90% of projected revenue for current year had been collected, while revenue worth Rs 42 billion, to be collected through taxation had been earmarked for the new financial year.

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Source: Daily Messenger (Pakistan)

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