Over Rs564bn Sindh budget likely to be unveiled today

Sindh Budget

KARACHI: The Pakistan People’s Party-led coalition government in Sindh on Monday will present in the provincial assembly its fifth and last budget having a proposed outlay of Rs564.7 billion with a deficit of over Rs3.78 billion, insiders told Media on Sunday.

While Sindh Finance Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah will present the new budget in the assembly whose session has been summoned at 4pm, Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah will preside over a cabinet meeting before the presentation of the budget to make last-minute changes, if required, in the budget estimates.The insiders said that the education and health sectors in addition to law and order were accorded top priority in the proposed budget for the financial year 2012-13. Other government priorities included communication network, Thar coal, wind and solar energy power projects.

A 20 per cent increase in the salaries of Sindh government employees and pensioners has been proposed in the new budget to cover spiral trends of essential commodities, according to the insiders.The total current revenue receipts, including federal assignment, provincial receipts, sales tax on services, straight transfers and grants to offset losses of abolition of Octroi Zila Tax, World Bank and Asian Development Bank funding is estimated to Rs500.81 billion. In the outgoing financial year’s budget, it was estimated at Rs418.98 billion and revised to Rs420.90 billion.

They said that the education sector was allocated Rs112 billion, the health sector Rs49 billion, and the home department Rs60 billion in the proposed budget.For special schemes, including K-IV water project, in Karachi, Rs25 billion has been proposed, according to the sources.They added that the government had no intention to impose any new tax.In the budget, public accounts receipts are estimated over Rs700.44 billion against the outgoing financial year’s estimates of Rs254.32 billion while disbursements is likely to be Rs691.54 billion against outgoing financial year’s Rs248.82 billion and revised estimates of Rs639.62 billion.

The total development funding is estimated Rs214.42 billion against the outgoing financial year estimates of Rs141.97 billion.The total provincial development expenditure, excluding district government annual development programme, is estimated at Rs218.21 billon against the outgoing financial year’s estimates of Rs141.09 billion and revised Rs154.83 billion, while total receipts of the province are estimated at Rs560.93.billion against the outgoing financial year estimates of Rs458.42 billion and revised estimates of Rs494.09 billion.

The current federal tax assignment is estimated at Rs308.44 billion. In the outgoing financial year, it was estimated at Rs251.86 billion and revised to Rs256.47 billion.The provincial receipts are estimated at Rs64.63 billion against outgoing year’s Rs54.90 billion and revised estimates of Rs57.49 billion. Receipts from sales tax on services are estimated at Rs32 billion against the outgoing year estimates of Rs25 billion. Straight transfers, which were revised to Rs56 billion during the outgoing financial year, are expected to be Rs59.25 billion in the new budget. From grants to offset losses of abolition of OZT, the government has estimated Rs8.29 billion against the outgoing financial year’s estimates of Rs6.77 billion and revised estimates of Rs9.70 billion.

In the PSDP, according to sources, carryover cash balance was shown as Rs5 billion against the outgoing financial year’s estimates of Rs4 billion which was revised to Rs32.60 billion.Provincial contribution is estimated at Rs163.21 billion against the outgoing financial year’s Rs108.03 billion and revised estimates of Rs98.60 billion.Foreign project assistance is estimated at Rs18.47 billion against the outgoing financial year’s Rs9.45 billion and for flood emergency reconstruction projects Rs17.18 billion against outgoing financial year’s estimates of Rs10.70 billion and revised estimates of Rs12.50 billion.Other federal grants are expected to be Rs10.55 billion against the outgoing financial year’s estimates of Rs9.78 billion, which was revised to Rs10.04 billion.

Unspent funds

During the current financial year while the budget was revised to Rs596.19 billion, the Sindh government utilised only Rs325.89 billion by April 30 out of the released funds of Rs488.36 billion, indicating that Rs162.47 billion remained unspent.According to analysts it was not possible to consume such a huge amount within the remaining period of the financial year.In the health sector whose revised budget was Rs27.68 billion, Rs22.65 billion was released and only Rs16.04 million was utilized.Similarly, of the Rs65.29 billion budget of the education sector, Rs51.27 billion was released and only Rs43.33 billion spent.Of the Rs33.75 billon budget of the police department, Rs32.15 was released and Rs27.75 consumed. – Dawn