Karachi - Amid opposition protest in the Sindh Assembly, the provincial government got approval of its demands for grants of over Rs1.24 trillion budget for fiscal year 2020-21 with majority of votes.

The lawmakers of Tehreek-e-Insaf and Grand Democratic Alliance started protesting soon after Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah who also holds finance portfolio rose to move demands for supplementary grants 2019-20. Opposition Leader Firdous Shamim Naqvi said the provincial government had failed to provide ‘genuine’ reason for supplementary expenditures in the fiscal year 2019-20. He asked the government to inform the assembly members as to why it needed supplementary expenditures.

The PTI and GDA members gathered in front of the Speaker’s dice and chanted “shame shame and Jhoot Jhoot (lie lie) slogans while the Chief Minister kept moving the demands for supplementary as well as grants for Annual Expenditure 2020-21.

While the opposition members were protesting, Murad got approval of 43 demands for supplementary expenditures during the last year. A total 157 demands, authorizing the provincial government for expenditures of over Rs 1.24 trillion were also approved by the assmebly with majority of votes.

Budget passed in 30 minutes

Murad said that for the first time in his parliamentary career, the budget was passed in

half-an-hour which he said reflected trust if opposition who didn’t move cut motions. “I am thankful to the opposition for reposing their confidence in the budget, 2020-21 because they did not submit a single cut motion. He added that instead of participating in the budgetary process they preferred to remind us their days of dharna on the container and make hooliganism and disturbed the house,” he added. The CM said since the provincial government didn’t impose new taxes, there was no need to passage of Finance Bill.

Purchase of vehicles

The Chief Minister said that his government had banned purchase of vehicles during Covid-19 emergency and any operational vehicle which had to be purchased would now needed cabinet approval. Comparing the last four years expenditure of Sindh government with other provincial governments and the federal government, on purchase of vehicles, Murad said that during the last four years, 2016-17 to 2018-19, Sindh government had purchased vehicles of Rs7.2 billion while the Punjab government spent Rs16.15 billion, Balochistan Rs7.8 billion, KPK spent Rs5.2 billion and the federal government spent Rs23.01 billion for the same purpose. “Despite the fact the Sindh government was under criticism,” he added.

Sharing year-wise expenditures incurred on the purchase of vehicles, Murad said that in 2018-19, the Sindh government purchased vehicles of Rs330.5 million, Punjab Rs1,447.6 million, Balochistan Rs1,878.2 million, KPK Rs1,361.3 million and the federal government Rs 5,501 million.

In 2019-20, the Sindh government spent Rs438.5 million, Punjab utilized Rs3 ,416.8 million, Balochistan spent Rs2,533.9 million, KPK made expenditures of 2,093.2 million and the Federal 4,517.2 million on purchase of vehicles.

“In 2019-20, Sindh had Rs 3,625 million budget estimated for purchase of vehicles, Punjab had Rs1,700 million, Balochistan Rs4,800 million and KPK Rs192.4 million.

He said that the PTI-led federal government had filed wrong figures in the Supreme Court and now he would submit detailed expenditures list of his government and the governments of other provinces as well as the centre incurred on purchase of vehicles. He added that the Sindh government had imposed ban on purchase of new vehicles for which notification was issued on June 24, 2020.

Development of Karachi

Talking about development of Karachi, the Chief Minister said that Karachi had a Rs26.8 billion ADP schemes. He added that apart from ADP, there were foreign funded projects which the provincial government had to pay back to the donor agencies. They included Rs202 billion projects, Red Line BRT, Yellow Line BRT, Karachi Urban mobility Project, water & sewerage Improvement plan, Karachi Neighborhood Improvement Project , Compatible Livable City of Karachi, Solid waste Emergency and Efficiency project, Urban Sewerage.

He added that Rs20 had been allocated, and in District ADP Karachi Rs2.4 billion had been allocated for completion of on-going schemes.

He said that apart from ADP and foreign funded projects there were a number projects to be started in 2020-21. Malir Expressway would be started in 2020-21 at a cost of Rs27.5bn and hopefully, Rs10 billion would be spent during next financial year, he said and added there was a Rs6.5 billion project of reconstruction of link road for Rs6.5bn and over Rs2 billion would be spent during 2020-21.

The CM said that there was Karachi Urban Road projects under which three projects, Korangi cause way, ICI junction Interchange and Hawks bay Y-junction were working. These three projects would cost around Rs12 billion and hopefully over Rs4 billion to be utilized in 2020-21. He added that there was a Rs25 billion Municipal waste water cycling project of Karachi water board on which Rs5 billion would be utilized in 2020-21. Hab Canal rehabilitation project of Rs7 billion and would utilize Rs1 billion in 2020-21.

He said that threre was a S-III project on which federal government had refused to share its cost, therefore it would be launched on PPP mode. Besides, there were five combined affluent treatment plants would be started next financial year.