KARACHI - Sindh budget estimates for current revenue expenditure of energy department are estimated at Rs25.9 billion, which includes Rs 25 billion for clearance of outstanding liabilities of electricity dues of various government departments pertaining to DISCOs such as KE, HESCO and SEPCO.

The ADP for energy department is pitched at Rs16.5 billion for FY 2015-16, which includes Rs 13.833 billion for ongoing schemes and Rs 2.666 billion for new schemes.

The Sindh government considers Thar coal development as a flagship project vital for energy security towards which the Government of Sindh has undertaken numerous initiatives.

The Government of Sindh has spent more than Rs.30 billion in last six years on various mega projects and studies. Physical work on Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company’s (SECMC) project at Thar Block-II has begun during current year and about 3mn BCM (Bank Cubic Meter) overburden has been removed. Commercial operation of first phase of 2x330 MWs power plants by SECMC is scheduled in 2018. Thar coal and wind projects at Thatta have been enlisted as early harvest projects by the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). SECMC and Sino Sindh Resources have been prioritized as top priority projects to be financed by Chinese institutions.

Working towards goal of producing 10,000MW from Thar coal by 2020, Government of Sindh is creating a conducive environment for foreign direct investment, through development of physical infrastructure and institutional infrastructure necessary for setting tariff, pricing and other concessions. MoUs with some investors have been signed and the rest are in process.

This reflects the Sindh government’s vision to combat and overcome the energy crisis, and govt policy of prioritizing Thar coal as a means to that end. For the financial year 2015-16, the Government of Sindh has made sufficient allocation for coal, wind and other energy projects.

5 projects of 20MW each have been planned in PPP mode for solar based power generation facilities at Thatta, Shaheed Benazirabad, Sukkur, Jamshoro and Larkana districts. 6 projects of 100MW each are planned to be developed in IPP mode.

The wind corridor of Sindh is 80km long along the coast and 170km deep towards land with potential wind power generation capacity of 55,000MW. The Government of Sindh has so far completed 5 projects that are supplying 256 MW of electricity to the national grid, while 9 projects of 477 MW are under construction and 25 projects of 2200 MW are at various stages of development. It is expected that each year 100 MW will be added to the national grid.

Various international agencies have identified approximately 190 MW hydropower potential projects on various Canal falls in the province. The Government of Sindh has issued letters of intent for construction of 9MW and 15MW power generation facilities at Rohri Canal and Nara Canal. Power generation from these two projects is expected to begin by 2017.

The Government of Sindh has also established “Sindh Transmission and Dispatch Company (STDC)”. Initially, the STDC is constructing a power dispatch line of 90 km from Nooriabad up to KDA Scheme 33 Grid Station of K-Electric at Karachi.

Meanwhile, current revenue expenditure of Agriculture Department has been increased by 5.79% to Rs 5.482 billion in next financial year as against Rs. 5.182 billion of current fiscal year.

Sindh government has increased the budget to further advancement in agriculture sector, said Finance Minister Sindh Murad Ali shah while presetting the Sindh budget for the year of 2015-16. He informed that the Government of Sindh fully appreciates the importance of agriculture and is cognizant of its duties towards this sector.

The ADP for the next financial year is pitched at Rs 4.5 billion, out of which Rs. 3.976 billion is the allocation for ongoing schemes and Rs. 0.532 billion is for new schemes. For promotion of mechanized farming, Agriculture Department has provided subsidy of Rs. 2–3 lacs on purchase of 29089 tractors to the farmers. 1300 watercourses have been improved under NPIW, 4580 under OFWM, whereas 94 watercourses of (additional lining) are under improvement in Sindh On Farm Management Comprehensive Project during 2014-15.

Sindh Agriculture Growth Project has been approved by ECNEC at a total cost of Rs. 8.867 billion, with the assistance of World Bank, for five years from 2014-15.

Its main objectives are to improve the productivity and market access of small and medium producers in important commodity value chains and strengthening public sector institutions to enhance the enabling environment for sustained sectoral growth.

Sindh Irrigated Agriculture Productivity Enhancement Program Phase-I Project (World Bank Assisted) has been prepared at a cost of Rs.30.139 billion. 5,500 watercourses will be improved and high efficiency irrigation system will be installed on 14,267 hectares. The project has been approved by ECNEC and will start from July, 2015.