Sindh presents budget for the financial year 2020-21

Karachi: Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah presented the budget for the next financial year 2020-21 in Sindh Legislative Assembly today.

The budget session commenced under Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani, where Shah, who also holds the portfolio for the provincial finance minister, kept the outlay for the current year.

In his speech, the CM said that he is honored to present the budget for the eighth time.

“This year the budget is being presented in very difficult conditions,” he said, adding that the country is at the same time battling epidemics and locust attacks.

He said that the Sindh government has set up a 3 billion Corona Emergency Fund and Sindh took the initiative for lockout and other provinces followed suit.

CM Murad said that from the 3 billion rupees the provincial government had raised Rs. 3 billion, while the provincial employees paid Rs.

“In 2020-21, spending on health risk allowance is estimated at Rs.1 billion,” he said, adding that the testing capacity for the virus has been increased to 11,450 daily.

He said there are 81 quarantine centers in all districts with 8,266 beds, and this has been increased to 8,616 in June 2020.

CM said that 101 additional ventilators were purchased and a grant of Rs.2.0 billion was given to a local hospital at Nipa Chowrangi, Karachi.

“A committee was formed to provide timely and adequate facilities,” Shah said, adding that the committee purchased machinery and equipment worth Rs2.43 billion to deal with the epidemic.

CM Sindh further stated that for the education sector, 21.1 billion rupees have been allocated for 11 new, unexplored projects.

Shah said Rs 13.2 billion has been set aside for the already existing 265 schemes and four new ones.

Earlier, Chief Minister Shah chaired a cabinet session at CM House today to review the budget recommendations.

At the meeting, the cabinet approved raising the salaries of government employees by 10%, according to a spokesperson for the provincial government.

Due to the coronovirus epidemic, legislative rules were changed slightly so that members could virtually attend sessions from their homes.

According to sources, only 25% of the MLAs will be present in the session.

Special measures have been taken before the session to ensure the safety of MPs as those MPs who have tested negative for the virus will be let in.

Among other recommendations in the budget documents, Rs 5 billion has been allocated to deal with epidemic measures.

The documents showed that there was no new agricultural research plan in the provincial budget.

The recommendations include 7.2 billion for the Malir Expressway and Rs.135 for the Karachi-Thata double-track road.

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