KARACHI - Debate on the 2009-10 Sindh budget continued on the fourth consecutive day on Tuesday and the MPAs, while highlighting salient features of the budget, praised Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah for unveiling tax-free budget in a difficult financial situation of the country as well as the global finical crisis. Initiating general discussion on budget, PPP member Pir Syed Bachhal Shah termed the budget as hopeful, needful and futuristic to the poor of the province. He said that budget mirrors the dreams of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and was in accordance with the wishes of the people of province. He further said federal government annually recovered Rs 300 billion royalty from natural resources in Sindh but the province got only Rs13 billion in return. Sindh Minister Rauf Siddiqui termed the budget an historic document in difficult times. He said that it would be better if ministers were taken on board during budget making process so they could submit their recommendations. He said that industrial sector was the important one after agriculture that generated employment and help reducing poverty in the province. He applauded President Asif Ali Zardari for taking keen interest in ongoing development schemes. The president had directed the cabinet to complete all the 27 schemes in six months, 10 of which related to industrial sector, he said. Siddiqui added that government was striving for foreign investment but some unscrupulous persons were bent upon to create bad image of the country through their fraudulent means. Citing an example of fraud committed with a foreign investor who had purchased 600 acres of land in Mirpur Sakro, district Thatta, he said the land was sold by unscrupulous persons on forged documents. He said due to this forgery foreign investment amounting to Rs1 billion was stopped besides badly tarnishing image of the country. He said that he had written a letter to FIA some two months back but received no reply. Rauf Siddiqui exhorted the need for setting up of small agro-based industries. He said that huge quantity of dates had gone waste in Khairpur Mirs, so efforts were underway to attract local as well as foreign investors to set industry in the area which could create job opportunities for local people and help generate hard foreign exchange for the country. PPP member Syed Javed Hussain Shah said that agriculture was the backbone of the country for which substantial amount had been allocated in the budget. He, however, complained the shortage of fertilizers, including urea and DAP in the province. The growers had to run from pillar to post to get these important commodities, he added. He said government had fixed Rs600 per bag of urea but it was being sold in the black-market at Rs1300 per bag. He urged the government to provide electricity for tube wells on subsidized rates as Wapda was issuing inflated bill of tube well. Dissecting the budget, PML-F member Nusrat Sehar Abbasi said that it would be better if the members were taken on board before presentation of budget. They should also be taken into confidence as to why only Rs32 billion were spent on various schemes out of an allocated amount of Rs55 billion. They should be informed in which districts land was distributed among the landless haris and out of 8,000 closed schools how many have been reopened, she asked. Abbasi said she failed to understand why praise was heaped for the budget when growers of Sindh were protesting as their rice were not being not sold in the market and they were not getting urea and were experiencing water shortages. She said according to UNDP survey the PPP had lost credibility in its home province Sindh. She asked why the government has handed over Rs10 billion schemes directly related to the people to non-governmental administration that showed that it had no faith in its own institutions. She said it was a good step that government allocated Rs200 million for IDPs but demanded that these people IDPs should be kept in camps somewhere in NWFP because Sindh could not bear such a huge influx as 3.5 million immigrants were already living in the province. As many as 27 members took part in the general discussion, including Syed Ali Nawaz Shah, Mrs. Rashida Panhwar, Ms. Rukhsana Shah, Rai Naz Bozdar, Ghulam Qadir Chandio, Ms. Shamim Ara Panhwar, Adil Khan, Ms. Shahnaz Saifuddin, Anwar Alam, Syed Khalid Ahmed, Abid Jatoi and others.