KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Thursday informed the Sindh Assembly that the Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) had collected Rs44.36 billion in the first six months of the fiscal year 2018-19.
Answering lawmakers’ queries during Question Hour in the assembly, he said that the SRB had collected Rs38bn during the same period in 2017.
The CM, who also holds the portfolio of finance, said that Sindh was the only province which had consistently been achieving its revenue target.
He told the house that the provincial government was not running overdraft with the State Bank of Pakistan for last three years.
Replying to another question regarding the merger of Sindh Bank and Summit Bank, Mr Shah said that the provincial cabinet had decided to merge both the banks.
He said that in fact Sindh Bank was not being merged with Summit Bank; rather there was a proposal to merge the Summit Bank with Sindh Bank, which would stay as surviving entity.
“This is under process and will be materialised after approval of the provincial cabinet, Supreme Court of Pakistan and State Bank of Pakistan”, he added.
The chief minister further said that the Summit Bank was not given any undue favour in the process.
He said names of other banks were also in consideration but lastly, the cabinet decided to go with Summit Bank.
When Mr Shah said that the merger process had been halted for some reasons, MPA Nusrat Sehar Abbasi of the Grand Democratic Alliance asked him to inform the house about those reasons. The CM replied that the matter was taken up by the apex court and it was still sub judice.
Replying to another question, he said that an amount of Rs4.2bn was kept in the budget for lower-income groups through Cash Transfer Programme. “An additional Rs 2,000 would be automatically transferred to over 1.8 million families, who are listed in Benazir Income Support Programme in the month of Ramazan,” he added.
The chief minister said that a programme ‘Unconditional Cash Transfer for Poverty Alleviation’ had been designed for poverty alleviation.
Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2019