KARACHI - The Sindh government will present the remaining nine-month budget of the fiscal year 2018-19 in the provincial assembly today for authentication from the provincial assembly.

Sindh Governor Imran Ismail has summoned the provincial assembly session on September 17 2018 at 10:00am.

The provincial government had presented a budget of Rs 1.44 trillion in the provincial assembly on May 10, 2018 but decided to get authentication of three month budget only after consultations with the top PPP leadership citing reasons that utilizing the funds of three quarters of the fiscal year 2018-19 is the discretion of newly elected government.

On May 22, the government passed a three month budget of over Rs 271 billion, authenticating 153 demands for the grants of budget for the year 2018-19. The government rejected all the cut motions submitted from opposition benches on the budget.

Since the deadline for the three month budget would expire at the end of the September, the provincial government would need an authentication of the assembly to utilize the funds for the remaining three quarters of the fiscal year.     

According to a provincial government official, the same procedure would be followed as the government would lay down the demand of grants for the remaining amount of the budget in the assembly.

The government would likely not include Finance bill as it does not intend to impose any taxes in the budget. 

Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah who also holds the finance ministry portfolio would present the budget in the house and it would be discussed at the floor of the house for the five days.

The Pakistan People’s Party has a simple majority in the provincial assembly with 97 seats and would not require support from any other parties.

Following the procedure, the opposition parties would submit cut motions over the expenditure proposed by the provincial government in the budget and would likely be rejected.

Earlier before laying the authentication in the provincial assembly for the remaining nine-month budget, the provincial cabinet would also approve the budget.

A cabinet meeting was also summoned on September 17 at the provincial secretariat building whose agenda included confirmation of the minutes of the last cabinet meeting, followed by authentication of the provincial budget expenditure from 1 October 2018 to 30 June 2018.

Meanwhile, the opposition parties raised their reservations on the budget during the proceedings and in a meeting between two main opposition parties-MQM-P and PTI- on Saturday night, it was decided to formulate a joint strategy during the budget debate.

The meeting took place at MQM-P makeshift headquarters in Bahadurabad between Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Kanwar Naveed Jmail from MQM-P and Firdous Shamim Naqvi and Haleem Shaikh from PTI.

They agreed that issues pertaining to injustices against urban centres of the province, lack of funds release to the municipal authorities and neglect of urban centres in government employees quota.