KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that peace in the region is attached with normalisation of the situation in Afghanistan, which would usher new vistas of prosperity in the entire region.
He was talking to a 38-member delegation of Foreign Service Academy, comprising of diplomats of China, Afghanistan and Pakistan, here on Monday at the CM House.
He said Sindh was the most urbanised province of Pakistan with Karachi its capital city being the country’s major financial and trade hub, generating over 60 per cent revenue for the country besides contributing an overriding share of oil and gas resources.
This [Sindh] was in fact the powerhouse of the country having 175 billion tons of coal and a huge wind corridor that could generate 50,000 MW of electricity, he added.
The CM also pointed out that Sindh, though rich in resources, its overall poverty level was also high, which was estimated to be around 43 per cent with 75.5pc in rural areas.
Mr Shah said Sindh required six to seven per cent annual growth to be able to create 600,000-plus jobs in the private sector annually. “Public expenditure and investments are expected to be the major driver for growth in the province and the country,” he said and added that Sindh had prioritised development portfolio which include improving outcome-based human development, social protection and poverty reduction.
Talking about ease of doing business (EDB), he said that according to the index published by the World Bank every year at the end of October “it is an aggregate figure that includes different parameters which define the ease of doing business in a country”. He said the EDB 2019 Report ranked Pakistan at 136 among 190 countries from 147th in 2018.
He said his government has worked to reform the regulatory atmosphere for ease of doing business to enhance the ranking of Pakistan.
Referring to improving business environment, the CM said Sindh has put in dedicated efforts in this regard. In the past five years (2014 to 2018), public investments in Karachi had been scaled up. Over Rs137bn had been spent through development financing with focus on infrastructure and human development. Overall security environment had improved significantly, he said.
Talking about school education and its basic indicators enrolment status (SEMIS 2018-19), he said total enrolment was 4.5 million.
Mr Shah said his government had invested Rs44.2bn in school education sector in past five years.
Published in Dawn, October 29th, 2019