CM slams ‘pittance’ of schemes

Claims province generates 70 per cent of national revenue


Our Correspondent June 09, 2021
Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah says Karachi suffered a loss of around 150 MGD water because of the power breakdown in the wee hours of Sunday. PHOTO: Express/File

KARACHI:

The province of Sindh contributes to 70 percent of the country's revenue, yet it is being offered a small portion of schemes compared to other provinces, asserted Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.

Speaking to a press conference at the CM House, flanked by his senior advisor and provincial information minister Nisar Khuhro, he said the PTI government had been treating Sindh with abject bias and discrimination.

He pointed out that in 2017- 18, there were 27 schemes allocated for the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) with an allocation of Rs27.38 billion for Sindh. Identifying a downward trend, Shah outlined that the number of schemes was reduced to 22 with an allocation of Rs14.26 billion in 2018-19.

He added that in 2019-20, the schemes were reduced to 13 with an allocation of Rs8.5 billion. In 2020-21, the number of schemes dropped to six with an allocation of Rs8.3 billion. "In 2021-22, only six schemes were proposed with an allocation of Rs5 billion. A grave injustice is being meted out to the people of Sindh ever since the PTI [federal] government has come into power in August 2018."

NHA Talking about National Highway Authority (NHA) schemes, the chief minister said the body had launched 22 schemes for Punjab at an estimated cost of Rs824.55 billion; against which an allocation of Rs32.151 billion was proposed for 2021-22. Shah continued that on the other hand, the NHA planned only two schemes of Rs46.79 billion for Sindh against which Rs7.1 billion were proposed for 2021-22.

He said Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and FATA were allotted 21 schemes of Rs535. 26 billion with a proposed allocation of Rs41. 25 billion for 2021-22. "Balochistan has been given 15 schemes of Rs355. 47 billion and an allocation of Rs24.1 billion was proposed for the next financial year."

Using the aforementioned figures to support his claim, Shah said that the difference between the number of schemes for Sindh and other provinces was "painful". He said the provincial government shared 50 per cent of the Sehwan-Jamshoro cost of Rs14 billion, yet the project had not been completed.

"Fatal accidents are taking place every day and the federal government must be held responsible for this."

Finance Division Shah said the Finance Division executed its schemes through the provincial governments. He stressed that the division had allotted 14 schemes of Rs86.6 billion to Punjab against which an Rs15.06 allocation had been proposed for 2021-22.

"The Sindh government has been given only two schemes of Rs4.8 billion with a proposed allocation of Rs1.51 billion for the same period."

Turning his attention to K-P and FATA, the chief minister said both regions had been given 10 schemes of Rs86. 7 billion and an allocation of Rs66.78 billion for 2021-22. "Balochistan has been given 28 schemes of Rs144.49 billion against which Rs18 billion have been allocated for 2021-22." He said most of these schemes were for provincial roads being executed by the province through funding from the federal government.

"Out of the 11 new projects given to Punjab [by the finance division], 10 are for provincial roads with a cost of Rs71.699 billion and the allocation for the next financial year has been proposed at Rs.12.461 billion. The provinces of Punjab, K-P and Balochistan have been given new schemes, but Sindh has been ignored."

The chief minister said the Planning & Development Division had no staff nor system to execute projects. "In Sindh, they have been given a large allocation to execute projects through the Sindh Infrastructure Development Company Limited." The CM said these projects had been shut down under the cabinet division last year.

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