KARACHI   -   Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said the federal government has removed 36 important schemes for Sindh from its next development programme (PSDP-2019-120) though most of them were foreign funded.

“This is injustice to people of Sindh and this will strengthen the sense deprivation and isolation among people of the province,” he said this while presiding over a preparatory meeting ahead of the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting at Chief Minister’s House on Tuesday. The NEC meeting is scheduled to be held in Islamabad on Wednesday (today). Shah and senior member of his cabinet Nisar Ahmed Khuhro will attend the meeting.

The chief minister said the estimated cost of the entire PSDP portfolio, both existing and new, was Rs8 trillion and Rs540 billion of this amount will be allocated for Sindh-based schemes. “It means Sindh has been given only seven percent share in the PSDP,” he said and described it as injustice to people of his province.

Shah said the federal government had about 36 schemes costing over Rs51 billion, including the foreign aid component pertaining to Sindh in water, roads and other sectors, and they were arbitrarily removed from the PSDP 2018-19 after its revision in September 2018.

Rehabilitation and modernisation of Sukkur Barrage was one of the schemes removed from the PSDP 2018-19. It is a World Bank-funded project in which 80 percent funds would be given by the World Bank and 10 percent by the Sindh government and 10 percent by the federal government in 2019-20.

Another removed scheme is construction of new bridges with approach roads over the River Indus between Sukkur and Rohri. This was announced by then prime minister Nawaz Sharif during his visit to Sukkur. Construction of the 88km Mirpurkhas-Umerkot Section; construction of Southern Bypass Hyderabad (ADB); rehabilitation of the 200km carriageway from Sehwan to Ratodero; lining of K.B. Feeder Upper Canal for water supply to Karachi City (its cost would be shared by the federal and the provincial governments on 50-50 basis) and construction of a feeder canal to Manchar Lake to eradicate contamination on 50:50 sharing basis.

The chief minister said the Jamshoro to Sehwan section is a classic case of mismanagement. It has three roads. “The Sindh government has provided Rs7 billion to get this important road completed, but unfortunately there is no progress on it,” he said and added he would request the federal government to instruct the NHA to complete it or return Sindh government’s Rs7 billion so that the provincial government could complete it on its own.

Shah said the federal government had drastically reduced the overall allocation of schemes reflected in the Finance Division portfolio that were being executed by the provincial governments. He said that Sindh government’s portfolio has been curtailed and many schemes, which were ongoing, have been removed. “There are now only five ongoing schemes with an estimated cost of Rs23.9 billion against which only Rs1.77 billion have been allocated for next financial year (2019-20),” he said.

Shah pointed out that Finance Division’s overall allocation for PSDP 2019-20 was Rs36.61 billion. The KPK/FTA has been given 75 percent funds, Balochistan 15 percent, Sindh 4.85 percent and Punjab four percent.

He said that some schemes being executed by the Sindh government had been deleted from PSDP 2019-20. They are as follows:

S-III: S-III Project was revised by ECNEC from Rs7.982 billion to Rs36.117 on Feb 7, 2018. The cost of the project was originally shared by the Sindh government and the federal government on a 50:50 basis but the federal government did not agree to share 50 percent of the revised cost. The total expenditure against the federal share till June 2018 was Rs3.129 billion.

The federal government allocated the balance share of original cost in PSDP 2018-19 which is Rs862.00 million and released only Rs344 million. An amount of Rs517 million is also pending against original federal government’s committed share. This has been deleted from the PSDP.

Construction of Roads in Hyderabad District: The project was cleared by CDWP on March 18, 2010. The scheme was completed through Bridge Financing by the Sindh government in 2011-12. An amount of Rs175.864 million is pending towards the federal government. The scheme has been deleted from the PSDP 2019-20.

Water Supply Scheme SBA: An amount of Rs299.71 is pending against the federal government’s share.

Lining of Minors: This was for lining of 109 selected channels of 860 miles at an approved cost of Rs13.828 billion. As much as Rs8.069 billion expenditure stands incurred till June 2018. There is throw-forward of Rs5.032 billion and scheme has been deleted from the PSDP 2019-20.

Rehabilitation of Irrigation: Rehabilitation of Irrigation & Drainage System of Sindh was approved at Rs16.795 billion. An amount of Rs13.386 billion was incurred till April 30, 2019 leaving a throw-forward of Rs3.409 billion. This scheme stands deleted from the PSDP.

The chief minister said that approximately Rs8 billion liability has been left out against committed projects with implications on these schemes. Therefore, the federal government should release the amount to the provincial government.

Shah said that NHA executed schemes (including CPEC) has size of 78 projects with an estimated cost of Rs2 trillion against which Rs156 billion have been allocated. He added that overall Sindh’s portfolio under communications (NHA) comprised six schemes with a total estimated cost of Rs74 billion and the allocation is Rs7.7 billion for 2019-20. The overall share of this portfolio comes to 4.9 percent of total NHA portfolio. Punjab has 21 schemes and their share is 34 percent, KPK’s share is 21 percent and Balochistan’s share is 23 percent.

Water Sector (Executed by Wapda): The total number of schemes under Water Sector is 97 with a total estimated cost of Rs2.34 trillion. The allocation for 2019-20 is Rs84.7 billion.

The chief minister said that Sindh’s overall portfolio in water sector has a total cost of Rs175.59 billion, having an allocation of Rs7.02 billion for nine schemes under PSDP 2019-20. “In terms of percentage of total cost of water sector, it is seven percent of the total water sector cost of Rs2.3 trillion,” he said.

Shah said that Sindh’s portfolio with total cost of Rs175 billion was also because of the two major schemes of RBOD II and I; which together have an estimated cost of Rs54.56 billion and Rs17.5 billion. “These projects in principle should be considered ‘national projects portfolio’ as they are meant for carrying affluent from Balochistan. They will leave an adverse environmental impact since they passes across the province,” he said.

The RBOD II was revised on July 26, 2017 on the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan at the total cost of Rs61.985 billion with completion date of June 2020. The share of the federal government is Rs54.985 billion and the estimated expenditure till June 2019 would be Rs37.017 billion, leaving a throw-forward of Rs17.968 billion.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that 2019-20 would be the last year for completion of RBOD-II, therefore; the federal government was required to provide Rs17.968 billion in order to complete the project by June 2020. He pointed out that the federal government had allocated Rs1.5 billion for 2019-20 against a throw forward of Rs17.968 billion. “The share of the Sindh government is Rs7 billion, out of which Rs3 billion stands utilized and Rs4 billion is proposed to be allocated in ADP 2019-20,” he said.

The chief minister said that Darawat Dam cost Rs11.7 billion against which the federal government had earmarked Rs600 million against a throw forward of Rs3.02 billion.

Shah pointed out that Wapda gave revision of Rs46 billion for Nai Gaj Dam being constructed since 2009. He added that it was a federally-funded project where the Sindh government’s commitment was only Rs1.88 billion. “The ECNEC suggested the Sindh government should provide 50 percent share since the first revision, which is injustice to people of the province,” he said.

Small Dams: Construction of small storage dams, delay action dams, retention weirs and ISSO barriers in Sindh (multiple districts) is under way. The scheme was approved for Rs12.211 billion. An amount of Rs5.731 billion had been spent till April 30, 2019, leaving a throw-forward of Rs6.479 billion. The federal government has provided Rs600 million for 2019-20 against a throw forward of Rs6.479 billion.

Makhi Farash: The Makhi Farash Link Canal Project for water supply to Thar Coal is an important scheme. The scheme was approved at a cost of Rs10.612 billion on a 50:50 cost sharing basis. An amount of Rs2.495 billion was incurred till April 30, 2019, leaving a throw forward of Rs3.842 billion against the federal share. The federal government has allocated Rs500 million against the scheme in PSDP 2019-20.f