KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister has directed his planning, development (P&D) and finance teams to give proposals for new Annual Development Programme (ADP) and also for the next budget so that a true uplift programme and a public friendly budget could be made.

This he said while presiding over a joint meeting of P&D and Finance departments. P&D Chairman Mohammad Waseem and Secretary Finance Hassan Naqvi attended the meeting with their respective teams.  

While briefing the chief minister on the transfers made during the current financial year, Secretary Finance Hassan Naqvi said that Center had committed to provide Rs493.2 billion to the province against revenue assignments.

“The last eight-month releases come to Rs328.8 billion against which the provincial government has received only Rs252.8 billion, which shows a shortfall of Rs76.2 billion,” he informed.

He further said that Center had committed to provide Rs54.7 billion straight transfers to Sindh. “The eight-month share of Sindh comes to Rs36.4 billion against which the receipts are Rs36.6 billion,” he informed.

Talking about OZT share of Rs13.3 billion, Naqvi said that the eight-month share of Sindh stood at Rs8.8 billion, but the Center had released only Rs6.8 billion which showed a shortfall of Rs2 billion.  The chief minister replied that the provincial government was duly providing necessary funds to the local bodies.

He directed the secretary finance to talk to his counterpart in the Centre and get the remaining amount released. He also asked him to collect the provincial receipts so that necessary preparations for the next budget could be made.

Giving guidelines for the next budget, the chief minister said that it should be public-friendly, and health, education, irrigation and other essential sectors should be given a priority in the document. “More funds should be allocated for the ongoing schemes so that these could be completed on time,” he instructed.

P&D Chairman Mohammad Waseem told the CM that there was an allocation of Rs213 million for special education schemes against which the government had released Rs47.993 million, but the expenditures were zero.

“Similarly, Forest & Wildlife has also failed to utilise Rs330.9 million,” he informed Murad. 

P&D chairman further informed that information technology and some other departments had also failed to spend the funds allocated to them.

The chief minister directed the chief secretary to seek explanation from the departments which had failed to utilise their funds.

Wasim complains about lack of funding 

Meanwhile, Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar has said that the local governments do not get what they are entitled to and resultantly the city of Karachi suffers. “We want to develop parks and playgrounds for our people, but still we are removing the garbage of the past eight years from the city,” he deplored. He was addressing the third international conference on environment, health and security at a local hotel on Thursday.

Fire Protection Association of Pakistan President Farhat Hussain, Brigadier Rashid Siddiqui from National Shipping Corporation, Senator Abdul Haseeb Khan from Brooks Pharma, Tahir Khaliq, Ateeq-ur-Rahman from KCCI and others also spoke on the occasion.

The mayor said thousands of deaths occurred in Sindh only due to dog biting. “People do not have awareness about the ill-effects of dog biting. And the result is fatalities are increasing every day,” he added.

Wasim regretted that the city’s master plan, building control, transport and solid waste management board were all with the Sindh government and he was not consulted on these issues.

He informed that he did not receive reply from the chief minister to the proposals he had given to him for solving Karachi problems.

He stressed the need for preparing the nation for climate changes and taking necessary measures both at provincial and national level to protect our cities and villages. In the end, the mayor gave shields to the participants of conference.