KARACHI: The Sindh government will start cash transfer from next month to people badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic for their economic welfare.
According to a statement issued here on Tuesday, Sindh Chief Secretary Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah chaired a meeting of the steering committee to oversee the implementation of Pro-poor Social Protection and Economic Sustainability Initiatives.
The meeting was attended by CM’s Special Assistant Haris Gazdar, Finance Secretary Syed Hassan Naqvi, Livestock and Fisheries Secretary Aijaz Ahmed Mahesar and other officials
“The Sindh government has earmarked Rs34 billion in the annual budget for fiscal year 2020-21 to help citizens affected by the coronavirus pandemic,” the CS told the meeting.
“This budget was made to ensure food security, reduce inflation and unemployment. Some Rs20 billion is proposed for cash transfers to those affected by coronavirus under the Sindh Peoples Support Programme through the Social Protection Strategic Unit (SPSU) and Social welfare department (SWD),” he said.
CS seeks data from Nadra, BISP for sending money under Sindh Peoples Support Programme
It said that that Rs5bn was also allocated for a soft loan programme for small and medium enterprises in the province while subsidies of Rs1bn would be provided to purchase rice seeds and another Rs1bn for pesticide.
The chief secretary, the statement said, directed the authorities to collect all relevant data from the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra), Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and the census department.
He also directed officers of the implementation and coordination department to send a letter to the census department for the provision of data pertaining to peoples’ socio-economic conditions in the province.
“The Sindh government in the month of September would transfer cash to persons affected by Covid-19 for their economic welfare, and for the purpose a sum of Rs20bn has been reserved in the provincial budget for 2020-21,” said Mr Shah.
Rs500m for livestock breeding
During the meeting, the livestock and fisheries secretary presented a three-pronged plan regarding interventions in the livestock sector.
The plan envisaged improvement of livestock breeding through provision of breeding bulls to poor livestock farmers and for this the “department would procure 1,000 bulls and 2,000 poultry males”, which would be placed at the union council level.
“In the second phase livestock breed improvement would be made through artificial insemination services to poor livestock farmers free of cost and for this high yielding exotic and local breeds bulls will be purchased,” added the statement.
“While approving the plan of the livestock department the chief secretary stated that the government has allocated Rs500 million for livestock breeding in order to address post Covid-19 crisis and to support and uplift socio-economic situation of livestock farmers,” the statement said.
Published in Dawn, August 5th, 2020