KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has presented the budget 2020-21 in the Sindh Assembly with a total outlay of Rs1241 billion on Wednesday.
The budget session began under Speaker Assembly Agha Siraj Durrani, where Shah, who also holds the portfolio for provincial finance minister, presented the outlay. In his speech, the CM said that he is honoured to present the budget for the eighth time.
He said that despite difficult circumstances, he is presenting the budget for the financial year 2020-20, adding that the COVID-19 is primarily a threat to the existing health system.
He said that the province is in dire straits due to coronavirus pandemic and locusts attacks, adding that the budget has been prepared keeping in view the plight of the people of Sindh.
Murad Ali Shah said that the Sindh budget for 2020-2021 is estimated at Rs1241 billion and the total deficit of budget 2020-21 is 18.38 billion.
“The provincial government has formed a Rs3 billion Corona Emergency Fund and Sindh took the initiative for the lockdown and the other provinces followed suit,” he said and added from the Rs3 billion, the provincial government paid Rs1.3 billion while Rs1.7 billion were given by the provincial employees.
The budget of the health department has been increased by 16.1pc to Rs139 billion to deal with epidemics and contagious diseases, he said.
The CM said that basic salary Health Risk Allowance will be provided to all health personnel including postgraduates and house job officers working in COVID-19 cases applicable from March 2020.
Speaking about agriculture, Murad said the agriculture budget has been increased by 40% to Rs.14.84 billion, due to agriculture support for small farmers. He said a sum of Rs1 billion has been allocated to small farmers as a concession for quality rice seeds, while Rs.20 billion has been proposed for cash transfers to individuals affected by COVID-19 under Sindh Peoples Support Program.