KARACHI, May 26: Sindh’s share in the federal government’s Rs272 billion public sector development outlay, being proposed for the next fiscal year, has been worked out at Rs20.14 billion or 10.2 per cent which is far below the population ratio of about 24 per cent on the basis of which federal tax pool resources are distributed. Adjusting the proposed total PSDP outlay of Rs272 billion with an allocation of Rs 68billion for all the provinces, the ratio of Sindh’s share in the net amount of Rs204 billion comes to a little over 19 per cent which too falls short of its population ratio.
These issues are expected to be raised in the annual meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) being held on Friday at Islamabad with Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in the chair. Top political leadership and senior bureaucrats of all the four provinces and Azad Kashmir are expected to attend the annual NEC meeting. The meeting will take stock of the economic performance of the provinces and the federal government during the current fiscal year of 04-05. It will work out a development strategy for the next fiscal year particularly in context of achieving an economic growth of 6 per cent plus and a plan to curb rising inflation.
A stalemate of National Finance Commission (NFC) is expected to dominate the NEC proceedings as the three small provinces Sindh, NWFP and Balochistan continue to be denied of additional share for the third consecutive year in 2005-06 also. Benefiting from this NFC stalemate and status quo are Punjab and the federal government.
The NEC documents are despatched to the provinces hardly 48 hours before the meeting. Within these 48 hours, the planning and development negotiators of all the provinces have to study the next fiscal year’s public sector development programme and identify the projects pertaining to their respective province and prepare a case for presentation in the meeting.
The Rs272 billion PSDP stipulates Rs130.87 billion for the programmes to be implemented by the federal ministries and divisions, Rs68 billion by the provinces, Rs37.18 billion by the corporations, Rs22.27 billion are for special programmes and Rs13.67 billion for the special areas.
A quick glance at the 2005-06 PSDP outlay of Rs272 billion reveals that an amount of Rs20.14 billion have been proposed for about 167 development schemes and projects being undertaken in Sindh.
These on-going 167 schemes involve a total outlay of about Rs142 billion against which a sum of Rs49.34 billion have been invested so far and the next year’s proposal is to put Rs20.14 billion in these projects.
More than 48 per cent of the total amount of Rs20.14 billion has been claimed by 14 water and power projects in the Sindh, which is proposed to get Rs9.77 billion in the coming fiscal year. The much touted Extension of Right Bank Outfall Drainage (RBOD) Rs14 billion project has been provided Rs 22.5 million in the coming year. The revamping and rehabilitation of irrigation and drainage is another major project in the province being taken up with a total cost of about Rs13 billion. The government provided Rs 987.80 million in the current fiscal year and is giving another Rs 2.20 billion in the next fiscal year.
The conversion of Mirpurkhas-Khokhrapar railway track from meter guage to broad guage will cost more than Rs3 billion. In the next fiscal year a sum of Rs400 million is provided in the budget as against Rs300 million in the current fiscal year.
Some 70 schemes in development and training are being given more than Rs2 billion, while 20 health schemes are being provided over Rs968 million in the next fiscal year. A sum of Rs620.58 million are allocated for science and technology, Rs749.62 million for population welfare, Rs500 million for planning and development division to sponsor a public-private partnership for environment friendly transport in Karachi, Rs83 million for minorities, culture, sports, tourism and youth affairs, Rs535 million for development of coal resources in Thar and Rs2.46 billion on various physical planning and housing schemes in the province.
The Sindh’s team in the NEC on Friday is led by the Chief Minister Dr Arbab Rahim, which is taking a brief that points out contradictions and flaws in the NEC documents. The Wapda is asked to raise Rs8 billion through floatation of bonds. But the same documents also inform Wapda’s inability to raise such an amount through bonds.
The NEC has been reminded of the commitments and packages announced by the Prime Minister during his visits to Sindh. These announcements have been ignored by the planners in the federal planning and development division.