KARACHI: The budget for the culture, tourism and antiquities department has been cut in the upcoming fiscal year and Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah failed to even mention the department in his budget speech.
The total developmental budget is Rs2.59 billion for 35 ongoing schemes and no new schemes have been introduced. The budget for 2017-18 was Rs2.87 billion with 48 ongoing and 15 new schemes.
The government has allocated Rs250 million for the development of summer resorts in the Gorakh Hills in Dadu district. The project was approved in January 2018 at a cost of Rs3.05 billion with estimated expenditure up to June 2018 standing at Rs2.08 billion.
The budgetary allocation for the establishment of a museum in Kot Diji, Khairpur district, is Rs65.72 million, which is the entire amount carried forward. The estimated cost of the scheme was Rs97.70 million when it was approved in June 2017 and it is expected to be completed by June 2019.
Rs6.83b allocated for ongoing transport schemes
For the protection, preservation, promotion and development of the world heritage sites of Mohen Jo Daro and Makli in Thatta, funds of Rs165.25 million and Rs313.14 million have been kept for 2018-19 respectively. Both schemes were approved in 2012 with financial progress up to June 2018 of 42% and 34% respectively.
The site of Bhambhore in Thatta has been allocated Rs178.82 million. This scheme was also approved in 2012 with a mere 30% of the allocated funds utilised up to June 2018.
The amount of Rs16.56 million has been allotted for a scheme to establish a cell for scientific investigation and rehabilitation of traditional mural and other paintings in Karachi and Thatta.
The conservation and rehabilitation of the Mitha Ram Hostel in Karachi, which houses the headquarters of the Sindh Rangers, has been allocated Rs5 million in the Annual Development Programme.
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The scheme to set up a ferry service in Sukkur and at the Keenjhar Lake to facilitate tourists has been allocated Rs73.54 million to initiate services. The scheme was approved in the outgoing financial year at an estimated cost of Rs99.56 million.
The provision of missing facilities at the Kashi Institute in Bhitshah and conservation and restoration of Dabgeer Mosque in Thatta have been allocated Rs20 million of the Rs285.81 million carried forward amount. The scheme was estimated to cost around Rs297.41 million.
An amount of Rs61.25 million has been allocated for the establishment of the Sindh Institute of Music and Performing Arts in Jamshoro. The project was approved in August 2017 at an estimated cost of Rs70 million.
The government allocated Rs59.31 million to complete a scheme to provide facilities to motels and hotels in Garhi Khuda Bux in Larkana. The project was initiated in 2017 at an estimated cost of Rs70 million.
Rs24.4b allocated for development schemes in education sector
As part of its allocation for the department, the government has also made several major grants for projects in the province. These include Rs40 million for a cultural exchange programme, Rs10 million for the Thar Mela, Rs3 million for the Children's Literature Festival, Rs100 million for the promotion of cultural activities and Rs100 million for tourism activities in Sindh. Apart from this, Rs80 million has also been allocated as a grant for the Gorakh Hill Development Authority, Rs75 million for the Sindh Language Authority, Rs70 million as a stipend for needy artists and writers in Sindh and Rs50 million for procurement of antiquities for the National Museum of Pakistan in Karachi.
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