BUDGET 2021-22: Sindh to spend Rs329bn on development

Published June 16, 2021
For next financial year, an allocation for Women Development Department has been increased by 64pc from Rs348.581m to Rs571.975m. — AFP/File
For next financial year, an allocation for Women Development Department has been increased by 64pc from Rs348.581m to Rs571.975m. — AFP/File

KARACHI: The Sindh government has unveiled Rs329 billion Annual Development Programme (ADP) for 2021-22, which is more than double the revised ADP of the outgoing fiscal year.

The government argued that the downward revision for the ongoing fiscal year was due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic which damaged the economic environment, hit revenue receipts and created joblessness on large scale in the province.

The development expenditure of the province was estimated at Rs329.032 billion, which includes Rs222.5bn for the Provincial ADP and Rs30bn for Districts ADP, foreign project assistance of Rs71.16bn and Rs.5.4bn from Federal PSDP Grant for schemes being executed by the Sindh government.

The development expenditure is revised at Rs160.3bn against an estimated allocation of Rs232.94bn for FY21. Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, who is also the finance minister of the province, said that there has been a severe financial crunch due to reduced resources from federal government and low collection from provincial resources due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Provincial ADP which was Rs228bn in FY20 was reduced to Rs.170bn FY21. The revised estimates of current year’s ADP may further fall to Rs113bn, the CM added.

For FY22, the ADP for health has been allocated as Rs18.5bn. The next financial year will witness an increase of 30 per cent in total allocation for Health Sector including medical education.

Apart from ADP, the government of Sindh has released Rs7.14bn in FY21, which includes Rs2.3bn under Corona Emergency Fund and Rs4.7bn as special grant to the Health Department.

In FY21 the ADP allocation for Education sector was Rs21.1bn. It comprised of school education, college education, universities, empowerment for persons with disabilities, and skill development. In FY22, Sindh government has earmarked Rs26bn for the sector.

For next financial year, an allocation for Women Development Department has been increased by 64pc from Rs348.581m to Rs571.975m. Rs.320m has been earmarked under the Provincial ADP 2021-22, out of which Rs296m have been allocated for ongoing schemes while Rs24m is earmarked for new schemes.

Despite various constraints, stakeholder departments are likely to complete 460 schemes during 2020-21. “By the end of FY21, we will be able to spend 85pc of the development budget that is 15pc higher than the last fiscal year. It reflects on our growing capacity and our rational financial management,” said the chief minister.

In FY22, 1,033 schemes were identified for completion in first and second quarter and maximum resources will be provided for their timely completion. Ongoing schemes with remaining throw-forward up to Rs100 million have been fully funded for completion by June, 2022. Ongoing schemes where 70pc expenditure is made have been fully funded for completion by June, 2022.

The government proposed an increase in allocation for agricultural sector from Rs14.8bn to Rs15.26bn in FY22. In the ADP, Rs2.28bn was allocated in current financial year whereas in FY22, an amount of Rs5bn has been kept for this sector. In the ADP for FY22, an amount of Rs6.935bn has been allocated for agriculture, supply, and prices department.

An amount of Rs2bn allocated for Culture and Tourism; Rs175m for Board of Revenue and Rs500m for Auqaf, Zakat, Ushr and Religious Affairs in the ADP.

An amount of Rs8.2bn allocated for FY22 for transport and Mass Transit Department while it estimates that an amount of Rs20.6bn will be received from Foreign Project Assistance (FPA) making the total as Rs28.795bn.

In his budget speech, CM Shah held the federal government responsible for low spending on the ADP as the province did not receive the allocated revenue for FY21.

The actual transfers to the Sindh government in a fiscal year always fall short of the estimates provided as the FBR falls short in collection of its set targets. The federal government is the major contributor to Sindh’s finances comprising of 72.5pc in its entirety.

Published in Dawn, June 16th, 2021

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