KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has asked the federal government to pay attention to achieving its revenue target, which he said was already facing a 28 per cent shortfall, instead of indulging in an unconstitutional adventure to topple the provincial government.
He said this while talking to reporters during his surprise visit to the Sindh Secretariat on Tuesday morning.
In reply to a question, the chief minister said that the federal government instead of concentrating on achieving its revenue and recovery targets had entangled itself in unconstitutional adventures, which were bound to further weaken the economy.
He said that the federal government’s recoveries turned out to be so bad that it had transferred 28pc less funds to the provincial government than its share in the divisible pool.
“This shows that they [Centre] are facing a 28 per cent shortfall in their recoveries, therefore they have given 28pc less funds [to Sindh] during the few months,” he said, adding that they should focus on better recoveries instead of indulging in unconstitutional jobs of changing loyalties of his party’s MPAs in Sindh.
Advises the Centre to focus on meeting its revenue targets instead of resorting to ‘unconstitutional adventures’
At the end of the day, the provincial governments would suffer due to inefficiency, incapacity, ill-planning and bad recoveries of the federal government, he added.
Elaborating further, the chief minister said that during his surprise visit he held a meeting with the finance department and found a 28pc shortfall in the federal transfers during the last few months.
“It is not only surprising for me but it has made me upset that how the provincial government would meet its expenditures when federal transfers are on a decline,” he said, asking the Centre to focus on its efficiency and capacity.
Reminds PTI of numbers in Sindh PA
Quoting PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s statement, he said: “You [PTI] are a minority government in the Centre, therefore, you should try to save yourselves.”
He recalled that 172 seats of the National Assembly were required for formation of the federal government.
“How much majority the PTI has in the National Assembly?” he asked and reminded the PTI that the PPP got 99 seats in 168-strong Sindh Assembly.
He advised the PTI to assess its position first before making any move.
When asked about placement of his name on the Exit-Control List, Mr Shah said that he had no interest in undertaking foreign trips.
“After taking over as chief minister I have gone only to China to attend a CPEC-related meeting,” he said, adding that all the four chief ministers were supposed to participate in the CPEC meeting but except him no one attended.
“Now, my participation in JCC meeting in which I had taken up the development projects of Sindh has irked them [fed govt], therefore they put my name on the ECL to keep me away from development endeavours for the province of Sindh,” he said.
Irked by secretaries absence
Earlier, the chief minister expressed his displeasure when he found most of the secretaries absent from their offices during his surprise visit to different departments in the Sindh Secretariat.
He held two meetings at the finance department and the planning and development department.
Later, the chief minister in a letter to the chief secretary stated that a few secretaries were present in their offices during his surprise visit.
He said that a lack of discipline was not acceptable and directed him to take necessary measures to ensure that all officers reach offices on time.
Published in Dawn, January 2nd, 2019