Sindh govt unveils Rs1.04tr budget for FY 2017-18

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah unveiled Rs1.043 trillion budget for next fiscal year 2017-18 on Monday in the Sindh Assembly here.
Shah, who also holds the portfolio of minister for finance, delivered the budget speech after Sindh cabinet approved budgetary estimates for the upcoming financial year and revised budget for the outgoing fiscal year 2016-17.
In his budget speech, the chief minister said the federal government had promised his government to provide Rs493 billion but only Rs425 billion were released during past 11 months.
"PPP-government has improved the quality of Transport and Education in the province and 88 per cent of the development funds will be spent this year", Shah said.
He announced to provide 49 thousand jobs in various sectors including ten thousand recruitment in police department to meet shortage of staff, adding that  it is a tax-free budget in which top priority has been given to education and health sectors.
The Chief Minister informed that education sector has been accorded the highest priority with allocation of 202.2 billion rupees while health sector's allocation is 100.32 billion rupees which is 26 percent more as compared to the current financial year.
Education: Education's got the lion's share in Sindh budget 2017-18, as Rs202.2 billion have been set aside for this sector.
A sum of 100b will be spent on new and existing universities and colleges in the province.
Rs1.5bn will be given to girl students in scholarships.
School management committees will be provided Rs1b for improving the quality of education.
Health: A total of Rs100.32 billion has been allocated for health sector. Taxes: A sum of 199 billion will be collected from taxes in next financial year.
Salaries and pensions: A 10% raise has been proposed in the salaries and pensions of provincial government employees. 
Meanwhile, Chairman Pakistan People's Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has congratulated Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah for presenting truly a People's budget envisaging landmark priorities for education and health endorsing the Provincial Chief Executive's protest against Federal government for its discriminatory treatment especially in financial and energy sectors.
"At this juncture of history when Sindh budget has crossed the mark of one trillion rupees, expectations from the people are high. By presenting a People's friendly budget for 2017-18, Sindh government has opened the vistas for a development that benefits the majority unlike the elites' schemes in Punjab," the PPP Chairman stated in a Press statement.
He praised Sindh government for incentives and facilitations to the students as well as for health sector adding that both the education and health are the basic steps raise a society with peace, prosperity and equality.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari encouraged the People's government for its initiatives in energy sectors as the provinces cannot remain fully dependent on Federal government to meet their electricity needs. Exploring and exploiting the alternative energy resources within the province are also a great step to get rid of unbearable load-shedding hurled by Nawaz Sharif government, he added.
The PPP Chairman was happy to see that a huge amount of more than 50 billion rupees are allocated for development projects in the provincial capital.
He also appreciated Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah for creating around 50,000 jobs with many more and multiple other employment opportunities for the youth of Sindh. - NNI