KARACHI: Block allocation for grants to local bodies in the province has been enhanced by five per cent for the next financial year, according to budget document.

It showed that the provincial government enhanced the block allocation for grants to local bodies from Rs74.5 billion to Rs78bn for the next financial year 2020-21.

The grant to local bodies of Sindh allocated for FY 2019-20 was Rs74.5bn, and Rs67.5bn had been released to all local councils by May 30, 2020.

Karachi Metropolitan Corporation

In his budget speech, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said the provincial government was sharing financial burden of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation.

“The funds are released on monthly basis on account of regular OZT share, regular pension amount and regular grant-in-aid amounting to Rs160 million, Rs430 million and Rs215.4 million respectively, amounting to total of Rs805.5 million,” he said, adding that the annual total amount stood at Rs10bn, including Rs293.2m one-time special grant in aid.

Karachi Development Authority

The chief minister said that the regular grant-in-aid amounting to Rs204m was being released to KDA on monthly basis to meet salary/pension and other non-development expenditure.

The figures showed that funds released to the KDA during current FY 2019-20 stood at Rs2.4bn, including Rs470.7m on account of regular grant-in-aid.

Karachi Water & Sewerage Board

The chief minister said that the provincial government had also been paying monthly electricity charges of KWSB since 2016.

He said that Rs34.7bn were allocated for 315 ongoing schemes and 93 new schemes in the current FY 2019-20. The schemes include Greater Karachi Water Sewerage Project (S-III) and Greater Karachi Water Supply Project (K-IV).

The chief minister said that total expenditure incurred on these schemes till May 15, 2020 was Rs11.4bn. As per the budget document, Rs39bn were allocated for 398 water supply and sanitation schemes of Public Health Engineering and Local Government Departments in ADP 2019-20.

The figures showed that Rs19.3bn had been allocated for more than 300 schemes of water supply and sanitation of Local Government and Public Health Engineering Departments.

In addition, a mega project “Karachi Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project (KWSSIP)” for KWSB has been approved at total cost of Rs3.4bn with financial assistance of World Bank.

Saaf Suthro Sindh Programme

Saaf Suthro Sindh is being implemented with the assistance of World Bank in 13 districts of Sindh. The project will cover 50 per cent of the rural population in each district, or about two million people.

At least half of the beneficiaries under Saaf Suthro Sindh (SSS)

will be women. The World Bank is assisting in this project. Its total cost is Rs3.4bn with Sindh government’s share of Rs900m and World Bank’s Rs2.5bn.

The Sindh government has also initiated Competitive and Liveable City of Karachi (CLICK) project with assistance of the World Bank. Its total cost is Rs33.6bn and it is aimed at improving infrastructure in Karachi and capacity building of all the councils of the metropolitan city. The project will be completed by 2025.

Published in Dawn, June 18th, 2020