KARACHI: Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali on Friday told the Sindh Assembly that the provincial government would consider increasing salaries of government employees in the next budget.
Concluding the pre-budget debate, he admitted that the minimum salary of a government employee was not enough for subsistence, but the provincial government had to take a decision in that regard keeping in view its resources.
Mr Shah said that around Rs50 billion was spent for payment of salaries and retired employees’ pension, excluding employees of local government institutions.
Slating the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led federal government for “not considering Sindh part of Pakistan”, he remarked that the province was paying the price of “inefficiency and incompetence of the Centre”.
He said the federal government was not spending any money for the uplift of Sindh, and asked as to why such injustices was being done with the province.
He said the federal government was continuously giving lesser funds out of Sindh’s share under the National Finance Commission.
The chief minister said that the federal government was incompetent and unable to run the country’s affairs in an effective manner due to which inflation and unemployment were on the rise. “The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had projected economic growth rate of 1.5pc for Pakistan while it is 5pc and 12.5pc in Bangladesh and India, respectively,” he said.
Mr Shah said that the PTI-led federal government had completely failed to perform and that was why their vote bank was getting decreased day-by-day.
He said that PTI’s defeats in by-elections spoke volumes of their ‘incompetence and unpopularity”.
The CM said that Sindh had been given Rs527 billion (or 95pc) from its share in the divisible tax pool in 2017-18 by the then PPP government and 86 per cent by the then PML-N federal government, while the province got only 70pc in 2019-2020 from the PTI-led government. “They (centre) do not give our due share in funds but keep on questioning our performance,” he added.
He said that the revenue collection by the province was much better than that of the federal government as the latter failed to achieve its target, creating problems for the provinces. “We offered the federal government to collect taxes on its behalf but they did not accept the offer,” said the CM.
Coronavirus control measures
The chief minister said that the provincial government had taken drastic measures to control the spread of novel coronavirus. He said that the highest number, over 77,800 per million, of Covid-19 tests were conducted in Sindh as against the number in the rest of the country that stook at around 41,700 per million.
Similarly, he said, the recovery rate of Covid-19 patients in Sindh was over 92pc against 84pc in Punjab.
Leader of the Opposition Haleem Adil Sheikh said that Pakistan Peoples Party’s Sindh government had received Rs7,780 billion from the Centre over the last 13 years but it failed to address people’s issues.
He said that the prime minister had set the country’s economy straight and controlled price hike. “There is also an improvement in revenue collection by the Federal Board of Revenue and our exports have increased remarkably” he added.
The opposition leader said that 70pc people of the province were drinking contaminated and unsafe water, while almost RO plants were non-functional.
He also showed some photographs to the chair and said several school buildings were either empty or occupied by buffaloes and donkeys. “How can there be any development in the province when corruption is rampant everywhere?” he asked.
Following the conclusion of the pre-budget discussion, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mueksh Kumar Chawla introduced ‘The Provincial Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2021’ and ‘The Provincial Motor Vehicle Taxation (Amendment) Bill 2021’ for registration and Taxation of electronic vehicles.
Both the bills were passed unanimously by the house.
PTI’s Jamaluddin Siddiqui and Bilal Ghaffar; and Ministers Ismail Rahu, Saeed Ghani and Syed Nasir Hussian Shah also participated in the debate.
Later, Agha Siraj Durrani prorogued the session.
Published in Dawn, May 8th, 2021