CM Murad defends budget allocation for old development schemes

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CM Murad defends budget allocation for old development schemes

KARACHI, JUN 15: Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah Saturday blamed the caretaker government for the delay in implementation on the province’s development schemes, stressing that his administration will focus on completing old projects and initiatives using its 2024-25 budget.

Speaking at the post-budget presser in Karachi today, CM Murad lamented the delay in development schemes due to the caretaker government’s decision to shut them down in its budget.

Furthermore, accepting that the province failed to achieve its growth target, the chief minister said that the government would try to achieve the 3.5% growth target for the next fiscal year although it seems difficult.

“The budget was made in difficult circumstances,” he said, adding that 70% of current revenue expenditure goes towards salaries.

His remarks come as the provincial government, in its Rs3.056 trillion budget, has allocated 31% of the total outlay amounting to Rs959 billion on development of which, according to The News, Rs493 billion will go to the provincial Annual Development Plan (ADP).

In addition to regular ADP, the Sindh government’s development portfolio under the public-private partnership mode stands at Rs714 billion, whereby projects of Rs62 billion have already been executed.

With projects worth Rs142 billion currently at different stages of construction, alongside those worth Rs236 billion in the bidding stage, no new scheme is included in the next financial year, the publication added.

On the issue of revenue generation, the CM said that the Sindh Revenue Board’s target for the next fiscal year will be Rs350 billion.

On a question alleging that no work is done in Sindh without corruption and “commission”, Shah said problems are everywhere.

“The people [of this province] do not agree with you [as] they have elected us [in polls],” he said.

Speaking on the issue of water security, the chief minister said that the federal government has allocated less budget for connecting Keenjhar Lake to the K-IV project.

“The federal government has allocated Rs25 billion for the K-IV project [whereas] the Sindh government will spend Rs170 billion of its own,” he said, adding that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has promised that the disbursement of the concerned amount will be approved by June 17.