‘Sindh eyes 6-7% economic growth’

CM says poverty level will come down; 0.6m jobs will be crated on yearly basis


Our Correspondent November 09, 2022
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI:

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the economy of the province has remained under stress which could be assessed from the fact that the poverty ratio has been recorded at 43 per cent with 75.5 per cent in the rural areas.

"My government's strategy is to grow the economy at the rate of 6-7 per cent, so that over 600,000 jobs could be created every year to bring the poverty graph down, but the strategy has been affected by the floods 0f 2010, 2011, COVID-19 pandemic, and the floods of 2022," he said while addressing the 35 ASPs including nine females at the 49th Specialised Training Programme/25th Initial Command Course at the CM House.

Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, Commandant National Police Academy AD Khwaja, IG Police Ghulam Nabi Memon, Chairman P&D Hassan Naqvi, Home Secretary Saeed Mangnijo, and PSCM Fayaz Jatoi were also present on the occasion.

Shah said that Sindh was the country's most urbanised province with Karachi; its capital city being the country's major financial and trade hub. He added that like the national economic situation, Sindh's economy has remained under stress for various reasons.

He said that Public Expenditure and Productive Investments were expected to be the major drivers of growth in the province and the country.

Shah said that the recent floods have wreaked havoc on all sectors of the province.

He said that his government, despite natural calamities and other issues, has prioritised the development portfolio such as improving outcome-based human development, social protection and poverty reduction, urban development with a focus on Karachi and other urban centres, launching water and sanitation schemes, improving connectivity and adopting integrated agriculture and water approach.

Talking about governance effectiveness, the chief minister said that his government has undertaken significant reforms to improve the overall ease of doing business environment in the province as its Ease of Doing Business Rankings improved from 128 to 108.

He added that a dedicated 'Doing Business Reforms Unit' has been housed in the Investment Department to steer the business-friendly regulatory reforms along with a Sindh Enterprise Development Fund to mobilise resources for Small & Medium Enterprises.

Shah said that the Sindh government has been working to create dedicated special economic zones as models to foster investment and industrial growth through 'Special Economic Zones Management Company (SEZMC)'.

He added that his government was working with the World Bank on the 'Pakistan Regulatory Modernisation Initiative' to simplify regulations for businesses in the province.

The CM said that the COVID-19 pandemic hit the entire globe with many still trying to recover from its impact. "Pakistan was touted as countries with one of the best responses to the pandemic with timely measures spanning across lockdowns, social protection, and proactive public health communications," he said and added that his government took several initiatives such as creating a dedicated fund, repurposing development portfolio, and public health communication which demonstrated how effective governance could yield desirable results and outcomes.

Talking about Public Private Partnerships, the chief minister said that his government has undertaken significant reforms to leverage 'public-private partnerships across the infrastructure, production, and social sectors to improve service delivery.

Shah said that the Sindh government has introduced several reforms to improve its tax collection, particularly the devolved 'Sales Tax on Services' through Sindh Revenue Board.

He added that the quantum of STS has increased manifold after the devolution from Rs16 billion in 2010 to Rs155 billion in 2021.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 9th, 2022.

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