Murad Ali Shah

Sindh presents Rs 1.714 trillion tax-free deficit budget for FY 2022-23 

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Tuesday presented a Rs 1.714 trillion pro-poor with social protection and economic sustainability initiative and tax-free deficit budget for the next financial year 2022-23 amid rumpus.

The CM, who also holds portfolio of the Sindh Finance Minister tabled the budget in the Sindh Assembly.

He said that the total receipts of the provincial government for next financial year would come to Rs 1,679.734 billion against the expenditures of Rs 1,714.583 billion which shows a deficit of Rs 34.8 billion deficit. 

Shah in his budget speech told the house that the overall revenue receipts would come to Rs 1,679.734 billion, including Rs 1.055 billion federal transfers, Rs 374.5 billion provincial receipts (Rs 167.5 billion provincial tax receipts excluding GST on services, Rs 180 billion provincial sales tax on services and Rs 27,000 million provincial non-tax receipts), Rs 51,132.8 million current capital receipts, Rs 105,567.5 million other transfers such as foreign project assistance, federal grants and foreign grants and Rs 20,000 million carry over cash balance and public accounts of the province. 

He said that the provincial tax collecting organizations would achieve their collection targets such as Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) Rs180 billion, Excise & Taxation Rs 1.20 billion and Board of Revenue Rs 30 billion.

The chief minister said that the current revenue expenditures for the next financial year would be Rs 1,199.445 million, Current capital Expenditures Rs 54.48 billion, Development portfolio Rs 459.65 billion, including Rs 332.165 billion provincial ADP, Rs 30 billion district ADP, and Rs 91.467 billion Foreign Assistance Project (FAP) and Rs 6.02 billion other federal grants.

The CM Murad Ali Shah said that the provincial government, during the 11 months (July to May) of outgoing financial year, has received Rs 716 billion against a share of Rs 732 billion which shows a shortfall of Rs 16 billion. Shah added that his government during the said period received Rs 45 billion in straight transfers and in OZT by receiving Rs 18.9 billion against a share of Rs 19.7 billion. 

He said that for the next financial year, size of development budget will be Rs 459.658 billion as compared to Rs 329.033 billion in year 2021-22, that will include Rs 332.165 billion for Provincial ADP and Rs 30 billion for Districts ADP. Foreign project assistance of Rs.91.468 billion from the development partners and Rs 6.025 billion are expected from Federal PSDP grant for schemes being executed by Government of Sindh.

The chief minister disclosed that 4,158 schemes, including 2506 on-going and 1652 new schemes have been given an allocation of Rs 332.165 billion. He added that the on-going 2506 schemes have been given 76 percent funds or Rs 253.146 billion allocation and 1652 new schemes have been allocated 24 percent funds or Rs 79.019 billion. 

The CM announced that 1510 schemes would be completed in FY 2022-23.    

The chief minister announced a Rs 26.850 billion pro-poor, social protection and economic sustainability package.

While announcing the Pay and Pension, the chief minister said that the Adhoc Relief Allowances 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021 at the rates admissible to employees of Federal government were being merged and Revised Basic Pay Scale 2022 for Civil Servants of Sindh government was being introduced on the pattern of Federal Government.

He also announced Adhoc Relief Allowance at the rate of 15 percent of Basic Pay Scales to government servants from 1st July 2022. “Disparity Allowance at the rate of 33 percent of Basic Pay will be paid to Civil Servants in BPS-1 to 16 and at the rate of 30 percent to Civil Servants in BPS-17 and above in lieu of the differential rate of Ad-hoc Relief Allowances 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 & 2021, which are being abolished from July, 2022,” he said.

He also announced that all the provinces have not presented their budgets. “If they decide to increase the salaries of their employees more than the employees of the Sindh government, we would take decisions accordingly though the salaries and pensions of our employees are better than the employees of other provinces,” he said. 

The CM said that the Pensioners of Sindh government were already getting 22.5% more increase in net pension than pensioners of the Federal Government till February 2022. Therefore, he said an increase at the rate of 5% of net pension would be paid to the pensioners of the Sindh Government from 1st July, 2022. 

Murad Ali Shah said that after the announcement of 10% increase in net pension by the Federal Government in March 2022 and enhancement of the rate of increase to 15% from 1st July 2022, the pensioners of Government of Sindh would still be getting 12.5% more of net pension than the pensioners of Federal Government.

The chief minister also announced to upgrade the post of police constables from grade BS-5 to grade BS-7. 

The chief minister announced to exempt toll manufacturing services from SST. He addd that 5% reduced SST rate for “Recruiting Agents” would continue for next two years – means up to 30th June, 2024. This relief is proposed for Pakistanis aspiring to work overseas.

He said that the Services provided by Cable TV Operators were levied at a reduced rate of 10%, the existing relief was proposed to be extended for a further period of two years ending on 30th June, 2024.

The cable TV operators are proposed to be exempted, including the Cable TV Operators in rural areas under PEMRA License of “R” Category to be exempt from SST till 30th June, 2023. The rate of SST on commission charges received by food delivery channels (like Foodpanda, Cheetay Logistics, etc.) from Home Chefs has been reduced from 13% to 8% for a period of two years ending on 30th June, 2024. In all other cases, the services provided or rendered by Commission Agents shall continue to be liable to SST at 13%.

The existing exemption on health insurance services will continue further for a period of one year till 30th June, 2023. GIZ, a German development agency, facilitating development projects in Sindh, has also been granted conditional exemption on Sales tax on services as indirect relief to the Public.

The CM said that his government has kept the Education Sector at its top priority by allocating Rs. 326.80 billion which forms more than 25 percent of total budget outlay. He said that the Health Sector has also been given top priority by pitching budgetary allocation at Rs. 230.30 billion which forms more than 19 percent of total budget outlay.

The Sindh Government has adopted a policy to either establish a full-fledged university or a campus of a recognized public university in at least seven districts one each in Korangi, Karachi West, Keamari, Malir, Tando M. Khan, Tando Allah Yar, and Sujawal. Korangi will have a University of Technology & Skill, Vocational/ Industrial Development, while Karachi West and Keamari will have sub-campuses of this university. Malir will have a sub-campus of NED University. Likewise, Tando M. Khan and Tando Allah Yar will be given sub-campuses of IBA Karachi or Sukkur IBA and Sujawal will have a sub-campus of Mehran University. 

The total outlay of the health budget for the fiscal year 2022-23 is earmarked at Rs 206.98 billion, covering primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare level services, preventive interventions as well as other communicable and non-communicable diseases. This year the health sector budget is 14% higher in comparison to Rs 181.22 billion during FY 2021-22. 

He said that for the next financial year 2022-23, the total allocation for the Home Department, including Sindh Police and Jails, has been enhanced to Rs 124.873 billion from Rs 119.98 billion during the current financial year.

He said that for the next financial year 2022-23, the budget for irrigation has been enhanced from Rs 21.231 billion to Rs 24.091 billion. Allocation for the Agriculture & Irrigation department in ADP 2022-23 is Rs 36.2 billion.

The Water & Sewerage sector has been given Rs 224.675 billion in the financial year 2022-23. The two major schemes of the city will be executed during the coming financial year. Re-Settlement of affectees of Gujjar, Mehmoodabad & Orangi Nallahs, for Rs 9.423 billion.

Greater Karachi Bulk Water Scheme K-IV Augmentation Works for Rs 511.724 billion. 

The Sindh government  has increased its budget from Rs 8 billion to Rs 12.00 billion for the next financial year 2022-23. The government intends to further expand operations of Sindh Solid Waste Management Board to other cities in the next financial year which include Hyderabad, Qasimabad, Kotri, Sukkur City and Rohri. 

Procurement process has already been completed and operations shall start later this year. 

For the next financial year 2022-23 budget allocation for the Social Protection Department has been earmarked at Rs 15.435 billion. In order to improve the wellbeing and welfare of senior citizens, orphans, and the poor, several social programs are being initiated and financed from the next financial year 2022-23, he added.

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