KARACHI:

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Friday presented a Rs3.056 trillion budget for the fiscal year 2024-25. The budget includes a significant increase in development expenditure and proposes salary hikes of 22 to 30 per cent.

The budget allocates Rs959 billion, or 31 per cent, for development projects, highlighting a strong commitment to infrastructure and social services.

The projected revenue for the province exceeds Rs3 trillion, with 62 per cent coming from federal transfers and 22 per cent from provincial receipts.

Other sources of revenue include capital receipts, foreign project assistance, and grants. The expenditure breakdown shows Rs1.9 trillion (63 per cent) allocated for current revenue, Rs184 billion (6 per cent) for current capital and Rs959 billion (31 per cent) for development expenditure.

Sector-wise allocation

The budget allocates Rs519 billion for education, with Rs459 billion dedicated to current revenue expenditure. Healthcare receives a total allocation of Rs334 billion, with Rs302 billion earmarked for current expenses. The local government has a proposed budget of Rs329 billion.

Agriculture is allocated Rs58 billion, including Rs32 billion for current expenditure. The energy sector receives Rs77 billion, with Rs62 billion for ongoing costs.

Irrigation is allocated Rs94 billion, with Rs36 billion for current expenses. Works & Services receive Rs86 billion. Planning & Development is allocated Rs30 billion.

Social protection

The budget prioritises social protection, with Rs34.9 billion allocated for pro-poor initiatives and Rs116 billion in subsidies to alleviate the financial burden on citizens. A minimum wage increase of Rs37,000 is also proposed. Key relief measures include salary increases of 22-30 per cent, pension hikes of 15 per cent, and Rs25 billion for housing schemes.

New initiatives

Several new initiatives target long-term development and economic recovery. The Hari Card scheme allocates Rs8 billion for 12 million farmers. An Inclusive Enclave in Korangi, with an Rs5 billion allocation, will offer comprehensive facilities. The budget also introduces fiscal decentralisation for police stations with an Rs485 million allocation, a Rs5 billion solarisation initiative for solar home systems, a Rs5 billion Hub Canal Project for water supply to Karachi, and a Rs5 billion Mazdoor Card programme for labour welfare.

Investment in human capital

Investment in human capital is emphasised with Rs190 billion in grants for education and healthcare, including Rs35 billion earmarked for universities and support for major hospitals and medical institutes.

The Sindh budget for 2024-25 underscores a comprehensive approach to development, social welfare, and economic recovery, reflecting the government’s commitment to the long-term growth and well-being of its citizens.



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