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KARACHI, July 2: The Sindh government will spend Rs1,129 million on industrial development in the province during 2008-09. The amount is Rs407 million more compared to Rs722 million allocated for the purpose last year.

The major focus of development this year will be on development of infrastructure in industrial estates in Karachi, Nooriabad, Hyderabad and Sukkur, etc.

A major scheme for which Rs200 million has been earmarked is laying of water pipeline from Keenjhar Lake to the Site Nooriabad, in addition to construction of a 5 MGD (million gallons per day) filter plant at Site Hyderabad at a cost of Rs10 million, and establishment of development and management companies in Site Sukkur and Kotri at a cost of Rs500 million.

Another scheme is to set up a small industrial estate for power-looms in Hyderabad on five acres at a cost of Rs10 million.

In the development plan for industries in 2008-09, Rs1,007 million will be spent on new schemes while Rs378 million have been allocated for 10 ongoing schemes.

Of the ongoing schemes, a major allocation of Rs158 million has been made for a small industrial estate at Northern Bypass in Karachi, extension of small industrial estates at Hyderabad at Rs15.5 million, a small industrial estate at Ghotki at Rs10.6 million, a Sindh handicraft display centre in Islamabad at Rs31.3 million and a small industrial estate at Naushahro Feroze at Rs15 million and upgradation of nine small industrial estates at Thatta, Sanghar, Dadu, Hala, Badin, Nawabshah, Rohri, Sehwan and Mirpurkhas at a cost of Rs17 million.

Among the on-going schemes being implemented by Site Ltd Rs71 million has been earmarked for improvement of infrastructure facilities in various estates at Karachi, Nooriabad, Kotri, Hyderabad and Sukkur.

Industries secretary Mohsin Haqqani told Dawn on Wednesday that under the new industry setup in which labour and transport departments have been separated, it would have more time to focus on industrial development.

He said that the ministry was preparing a plan for rapid industrialisation in the province, especially in the interior, to create job employment opportunities.

Marla Menorah, a former additional secretary and now consultant to the ministry, told Dawn that despite a policy of austerity and cuts in expenditures, the government has increased outlay for industrial development from Rs722 million to Rs1,129 million this year.

In a major move to expedite industrial development in the interior, the ministry lifted a decade-old ban on sugar mills and issued permission to set up six new mills in areas having abundance of sugarcane.

The ministry also released Rs250 million each this year for development of infrastructure at four industrial areas in Karachi, namely Korangi, Landhi, North Karachi and Federal B. Area.