KARACHI: The Sindh government on Friday announced a development outlay of Rs959.1 billion, up by 30.5 per cent from the current year’s Rs735bn.

In his budget speech, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said the Annual Development Programme (ADP) would not include any new schemes, as the focus would be on the completion of the projects that have been ongoing for the last 10 years.

According to a breakdown of the development outlay, Rs493bn will go to the provincial ADP with Rs55bn to the district ADP. The government estimated that Rs334bn would be spent as foreign project assistance and Rs76.9bn for federal PSDP schemes.

The provincial ADP’s estimates of Rs493bn are 29.7pc higher than Rs380bn of FY24, registering an increase of Rs113bn.

No new schemes announced for FY25

The estimated current revenue expenditure for FY25 is Rs1,912.4bn against Rs1,411bn of the previous year.

According to the government, the increase is mainly due to the inflationary impact on operating expenses, enhancement of grants-in-aid to non-financial institutions, including hospitals, public sector universities, local councils, necessary salary raises in the shape of relief allowance to the government employees and a rise in pension expenditure.

The budget document said there are 4,250 ongoing schemes with an allocation of Rs305.49bn. There are 395 un-approved schemes which were part of ADP 2023-24, but could not be approved due to the ban imposed by the Election Commission of Pakistan; these schemes will remain un-approved in ADP 2024-25 with an allocation of Rs92.87bn.

According to the budget papers, 552 ongoing schemes are those where over 70pc expenditures are made. Such schemes have been fully funded for completion by June 2025.

A total of 849 ongoing schemes with a throw-forward of less than Rs50 million have also been fully funded for completion by June 2025. Also, 858 small-nature ongoing schemes have been fully funded for completion by June 2025.

Those schemes, where tenders are not issued and if they require cost increase, will be provided additional funds from block allocation of Rs80bn kept in the ADP.

With this strategy, out of the total 4,644 schemes continuing in the ADP 2024-25, there will be about 1,812 schemes which have been provided full funds and are likely to be completed in FY 2024-25.

The provincial government allocated Rs32.163bn for schemes in the education sector for fiscal FY25 as compared to Rs13.82bn allocated in the current ADP.

A significant jump was noted in the allocation for the transport and communication sector. The allocation for this sector in FY25 is Rs60.4bn against Rs2.2bn. The government is planning for more hybrid buses in Karachi and other major cities of the province.

The water and sanitation and road sector also got special attention from the government, as the allocations for these sectors also multiplied. These schemes in the local government got Rs71.959bn, while in FY24 the expenditure on these ADP schemes remained Rs15.7bn.

Water and sanitation sector schemes in the Public Health Engineering Department will get an allocation of Rs22bn against Rs3.26bn of the previous fiscal year.

“A big chunk of funds would be used for construction of new roads and improving the conditions of the existing structure,” said the budget paper.

Like other sectors, the government significantly increased the allocation for the health sector schemes to Rs18bn as compared to Rs2.72bn in FY24.

Published in Dawn, June 15th, 2024

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