KARACHI: Sindh Government presented its annual budget in provincial assembly for the fiscal year 2013-14 having a total outlay of Rs 617 billion here on Monday.
Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Qaim Ali Shah presented the budget in Sindh Assembly. In his budget speech, the CM said the budget making is always a daunting task especially when the global economy is suffering from years of recession and uncertainty, and when there are serious resource constraints.But we, by authoring this document, have tried to give people of this province relief and opportunity, which they expect from us.
2. Investment to create more employment opportunities and poverty alleviation initiatives.
3. Investment to provide better quality of education.
4. Investment to provide better health care, especially to the poor.
5. Investment in Energy.
6. Investment in agriculture, as majority of the province’s people are dependant on this sector.
7. Investment in Karachi Circular Railways to address the transport problems of the mega city.
2 Public Private Partnership with reputable organisations and NGOs that is, Engro, Bunar Foundation, Pakistan Air Force, British Petroleum.
3 Development of Sindh Skills Strategy 2012-17, in collaboration with International Labour Organization (ILO).
4 Institutionalising career counselling, vocational guidance and placement service.
5 Introduction of entrepreneurship training programme for promoting self-employment in 30 institutions.
6 Strengthening partnership with industry and promotion of apprenticeship programme under TEVT reforms support projects funded by GIZ, European Union, Netherlands & Republic of Germany.
7 Establishment of Training Cum Production Units with the support of ILO and STEVTA own resources.
Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah said that the (previous) Federal Government launched Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) in order to provide financial assistance to the poor segments of the society. The BISP, on the request of the Government of Sindh, launched the ‘Waseela-e-Haq Sindh’ in January 2012, which is to benefit 34,000 families by providing an interest-free loan of Rs 300,000 each, along with basic business / enterprise development related training. The total outlay for this venture is expected at Rs 12 billion, which the Government of Sindh is committed to meet from its own resources.
He said “Our talented youth is our future. We had started the Shaheed Banazir Bhutto Youth Development Programme with an aim to address the issues of poverty and unemployment among youth through intensive human resource development.”
During last three years over 200,000 youth have been trained and made active members of economic life of this province. “In the coming five years we plan to train another 300,000 youth in collaboration with World Bank and Japan Social Development Fund. For the said purpose we have allocated an amount of Rs 1.00 billion in the next financial year 2013-14 in addition to the support we expect from World Bank and other donor agencies,” the CM said.
He said “I am glad to announce here another initiative, which will create more employment opportunities for the youth of this province. We are allocating Rs 2 billion for Revival of Sick Industries in smaller towns of the province. The scheme will be implemented through Sindh Bank and will focus on providing credit to sick industrial units on subsidised terms for their revival. The objective is to boost economy of the smaller towns and to generate employment opportunities there, which will also reduce pressure of migrants on the dwindling infrastructure of bigger cities.”
“Our government,” the CM said “is committed to improve the financial condition of poorest of the poor through targeted subsidies. The successful Benazir Income Support Programme is a prime example of that. To give a boost to this poor friendly initiative of President Asif Ali Zardari, Government of Sindh is launching its own version of Benazir Income Support Programme. We have allocated Rs 2.00 billion to start this programme, which will be used to make direct cash transfers to poorest of the poor women using BISP database.”
In addition, during the next Financial Year 2013-14 an amount of Rs 1.00 billion will be used for establishment of housing for the poor in Sindh. Also, Sindh Government has taken an initiative to provide 50,000 plots of 80 and 120 sq. yds to poorest of the poor in major urban centres of Sindh. The plots will be fully developed with essential civic amenities. For the said purpose an amount of Rs 1.00 billion has been kept in Financial Year 2013-14.
He said it was a dream of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto to see the women of this country actively and equally participating in all walks of life. Sindh Government is committed to actualise the dream of our Shaheed leader. We have adopted a three-pronged strategy for the purpose.
During the current financial year an allocation of Rs 497.25 million was made to achieve the objectives. For the next financial year 2013-14, the allocation is increased to Rs 749.52 million.
Sindh Government is determined to successfully uplift the socio-economic conditions of vulnerable population groups. In year 2008-09, the Government had launched the Union Council Poverty Reduction Programme in two districts of Sindh with the objective to reduce poverty, improve quality of life of marginalised communities, capacity development, asset creation and income generation. The programme was extended to two more districts in year 2010. By grace of Almighty Allah, the programme has met immense success:
343,084 house-holds have been organised at community level. 8,072 low cost houses have been provided to shelter-less families.
Interest free loans to 104,652 women.
162 schools functionalised.
157 Union councils covered.
In the next financial year, three more districts will be added to the programme (Badin, Umerkot and Khairpur).
The Chief Minister said that the Father of our Nation, Quaid-e Azam, Mohammad Ali Jinnah once said that “there is no doubt that the future of our state will and must greatly depend upon the type of education we give to our children .. …” The CM said “We aim at bringing all our children to schools and to give them quality education. Education that will open the doors of opportunity and success. Education that is the surest way to bring prosperity to our land.”
In Budgetary terms, Education Department is the largest department of Sindh Government. In the Current Financial Year, the ADP allocation for Education Sector was Rs 12.00 billion. For the next financial year we have increased the volume of ADP to Rs 13.48 billion. On the Current expenditure Side, the budgetary allocation of Education for next financial 2013-14 is Rs 118.74 billion.
He said we plan to initiate the Sindh Education Reform Programme (SERP-II) for which the World Bank has agreed to provide an amount of US $ 400 million for a period of four years till June 2017. SERP-II is not simply the second phase of SERP. It has drawn lessons from its SERP implementation experience to arrive at an improved programme. The project development objective is to raise school participation by improving sector governance and accountability and strengthening administrative systems, and measure student achievement.
The main targets of the programme are:
School Specific Budget (SS8): Preparation of school budgets, both salary and non-salary components, following transparent, objective, and needs-based criteria. School Management Committees (SMCs): Strengthening due diligence, fiduciary management and support for SMC grant provision and use to improve resourcing for community-identified school improvement investments.
School System consolidation (merging of schouls): Merging of district government schools that share the same building, same compound or are in close proximity and cater to the same local child population into single school and their reorganisation and strengthening to functioning as a single school.
Teacher Mangement (teacher licensing): Strengthening merit and need bases teacher recruitment.
Education Management (Cluster based Schools): Appointment of specialised quarters of education managers and school headmasters following transparent, objective, merit based criteria. For this purpose and to meet this objective Sinuh Government has kept funds for creation of 2000 posts of Head Masters/ Head mistresses during the FY 2013-14.
Public Private Partnership (PPP) in Education: Strengthening the design and implementation of an accountability based PPP initiative to cost-effectively deliver quality schooling to un-served rural communities.
For the next financial year, we have reserved Rs 2.21 billion as grant for Sindh Education Foundation committed to enhance cover of quality education throughout province. Now, I would like to highlight some important projects in the education sector: Rs 1.25 billion for Establishment of 23 English Medium Schools in Sindh Rs 500 million for ICT Enabled Education Management System Establishment of 23 Comprehensive
Schools in Sindh Establishment and promotion of Engineering Colleges at Khairpur and Larkana Establishment of law colleges at Hala, Dadu and Lyari Establishment of Girls Cadet College at Shaheed Benazirabad, Larkana and Girls Degree College, Naudero Establishment of Cadet College at Dadu, Mithi and Khairpur In recent years health services have improved in the province, he said adding that the Peoples Primary Health Initiative (PPHI) is a success story on curative side. 1137 Rural Health Centers are being managed by PPHI. Over 1500 doctors and 2500 paramedic staff is working dedicatedly under the umbrella of PPHI.
But there is lot to be done. The Government is annually spending Rs 22.00 Billion in primary, secondary and tertiary care services along with a specific focus on following preventive programmes:
Expanded Programme of Immunisation Malaria/Dengue Control Programme Hepatitis Prevention and Control Programme Enhanced HIV/AIDS Control Programme Prevention and Control of Blindness Provincial Tuberculosis Control Programme Basic Development Needs Programme Control and Prevention of Infectious Diseases in Sindh “Let me put this before this house that during the Current Financial Year 2012-13, the ADP allocation of health was revised and increased from Rs 11.00 billion to Rs 13.56 billion, which reflects the Government’s unwavering commitment and concern for this sector.
The next year ADP of Health is pitched at Rs 17.00 billion that is an increase of 54% over the allocation made during current financial year. Syed Qaim Ali Shah said we are allocating Rs 500.000 million for developing a Health Management Information System in the next ADP that will enable us to prepare universal data of the patients containing history of their diseases and treatments. It will also make it possible to track all the medicines and other services provided to patients and thereby check pilferage in the system.
We have witnessed outbreaks of various preventable diseases like measles this year. This puts some question marks over efficacy of vaccine being administered to our children particularly in the context of their proper storage during long power outages. In order to ensure quality of vaccines we are introducing a major scheme to install solar energy powered systems at vaccine storage points all over Sindh. An amount of Rs 500.000 million has been earmarked for this scheme during first year of its implementation.
Other major initiatives planned for next Financial Year 2013-14 include:
Establishment of Rs 1.80 billion Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Accident Emergency Ancillary Services Complex at Civil Hospital Karachi.
Rs 1.65 billion Pilot Project for mobile 12 bedded health units.
Improvement of Children Hospital in Karachi.
Rs 200 million for provision of allied facilities for Jacobabad Institute of Medical Sciences.
Rs 500 million Up-gradation of THQ hospitals to the level of DHQ hospitals.
Rs 900 million expansion and improvement of DHQ hospitals (Badin, Shikarpur, Khairpur and Mithi).
Rs 1.00 billion for prevention and control of Hepatitis in Sindh.
Establishment and improvement of medical colleges at Hyderabad, Karachi and Khairpur.
Establishment of Children Hospital in Sukkur.
The Chief Minister said that electricity is the main driving force of our socio-economic development and poverty reduction efforts. It is a barometer of our progress and a propeller that ensures our smooth economic take off. We have attached highest priority to Power and Energy sector in our election manifesto.
We are thankful to Almighty Allah for he has granted us abundant natural resources to propel ourselves to the heights of prosperity.
Thar Coal is indeed a gift from Allah to the people of Pakistan. Thar Coal can meet all our energy needs and can provide a platform for sustainable growth. Development of Thar coal fields is aimed to provide energy security by curtailing reliance on imported fuels, re-balance the energy portfolio where higher cost fuels are being used to generate power, and provide low-cost electricity to the nation and to propel Pakistan’s economic development.
At present, three major projects of 2400 MW capacity are underway and targeted to be completed by 2017-18. The Government of Sindh plans to spend Rs 32 billions for infrastructure projects including roads, water supply. waste-water disposal, Thar Airport and Reverse Osmosis Plants for ThaI’ region. Government of Sindh earmarked Rs 10.1 billion during financial year 2012-13 and has proposed Rs 12.00 billion for the next financial year 2013-14.
The JV Project Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company is proceeding ahead and major bottlenecks are being removed. Federal Government has agreed to give sovereign guarantee for the project, which will facilitate in achieving financial close. The ground breaking of the project is expected in January 2014. “I want to emphasise here that Thar Coal is the most viable solution to the energy problems of our country. We are trying to make it happen through most determined efforts and we expect similar resolve from the Federal Government.”
He said “I feel great pride and joy to inform that 5180 villages of Sindh have been electrified during current financial year through an allocation of Rs 1.5 billion. An allocation of Rs 1 billion has been kept for next financial year.”
There has been a major breakthrough in wind power projects during current financial year when M/s Fauji Fertilizer started its 50 MW wind based power generation project. A Turkish Company M/s Zholu has also started 50 MW generation. With the successful completion of these projects, we expect that more investment will flow into wind energy sector. There are projects with installed capacity of 2000 MW in pipeline.
He said the current energy crisis is adversely affecting not only the economic growth of the country but also the quality of life of the citizens of Pakistan. The Government of Sindh is determined to play its due role in resolution of this crisis. We have come up with innovative projects in Public Private Partnership mode on generation side on one hand and have made our best endeavours to resolve our payment issues with distribution companies on the other hand. The major problem we are facing in resolution of our dispute with distribution companies is exaggerated billing by them.
We are more than willing to pay all our dues if we are billed correctly and issues such as defective meters and unmatured connections are resolved. Our willingness to pay legitimate dues can be gauged from the fact that Government of Sindh paid a substantial amount of Rs 14 billion to distribution companies operating in Sindh during current financial year on account of current dues and reconciled past arrears. We are making an allocation of Rs 11 billion in this budget for payments of electricity bills. This allocation will be good enough to take care of all the legitimate billing.
Sindh Chief Minister said “We do not welcome the idea presented by the Federal Government that the office of the Federal Adjuster will be used to make at source deductions of outstanding provincial government dues. The Federal Adjuster office has no mandate to deduct disputed amounts. Any act of at source deductions of highly exaggerated claims of DISCOs by the Federal Adjuster will be illegal.”
He said Sindh is a land of abundant God-gifted resources as it produces around 72 % of the total gas production of Pakistan.
However. it only consumes 40 % of the total gas distribution. Ours is the major contribution towards country’s energy basket, which generates substantial economic opportunities and creates thousands of jobs in other provinces of Pakistan. While Sindh will continue to make this contribution to the country and other provinces, we expect preferential gas supply to the industrial and domestic consumers of Sindh in accordance with Article 158 of the Constitution. We are also hopeful that power projects, initiated by government of Sindh in collaboration with private sector, especially Thar coal will also be given due priority and support by the federal government which will be critical for resolution of the energy crisis of the country.
In his budget speech, Syed Qaim Ali Shah said that Agriculture has been the mainstay of our economy with over 60 per cent of our population deriving their sustenance from it. It contributes to 23% of GDP. Sindh province’s contribution in rice production is 32%, 24% in sugarcane, 21% in cotton and 12% in wheat. These remarkable milestones could not have been possible without the energetic contribution of our dedicated farmers and the guidance from our leader President Asif Ali Zardari, in adopting the right policies in this sector. “I salute them for their all out efforts.”
As a result of elected government’s concern for agriculture sector, discernible in the form of accelerated farm mechanisation activities such as provision of agricultural implements, subsidy on farm tractors, precision land leveling equipment, provision of seed and fertiliser, installation of tube wells on subsidy, developing agricultural land through bulldozers and preventive pre-harvest measures carried out by the Agriculture Department; production of cotton and sugarcane has risen by 44.25% and 48% respectively.
The total budget allocation for agriculture in FY 2012-13 was Rs 9.71 billion, out of which Rs 5.45 billion were allocated for Development. Our performance can be gauged on basis of:
• Assistance for procurement of 9,000 tractors has been provided to the farmers.
• 24 new bulldozers have been procured.
• Wheat variety Benazir 2012 having potential yield of 87 maunds/ acre has been introduced for general cultivation in Sindh.
• For promotion of mechanised farming subsidy was provided to 14,076 farmers for tractors.
• 986 Wheat and Paddy Threshers have been provided to farmers on 50% subsidised rates.
• 250 Laser Land Leveling Equipment have been provided to farmers on 50% subsidised rates.
• 1,762 Tubewells have been installed on 50% subsidised cost on farmer’s fields.
• 5,268 watercourses have been improved under On-Farm Water Management Project.
• Sprinkler Systems have been installed on 2,590 acres (80% cost borne by the Government and 20% by farmers).
• Drip Irrigation System on 1/025 acres and Rain Guns on 2/296 acres have been installed by providing 80% subsidy.
• 4,116 jobless youth were trained in different fields of agriculture through Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Youth Development Programme. For the next financial year 2013-14 the ADP of agriculture has been increased to Rs 6.16 billion.
The optimum use of water is essential for the development of an agro-based economy. If this precious natural resource is not utilised efficiently, the entire discussion on development paradigm becomes largely irrelevant. Our initiatives to carry out mega projects for flood control, irrigation, curbing river erosion, protection against salinity and water logging and installment of tube wells are essentially in line with our unwavering commitment to improve the avenues of effective water utilisation for a greener and prosperous Sindh.
He said during the year 2012-13, Rs 5.62 billion have been allocated for 76 on-going schemes including WSIP and Re-construction Project to Bunds Canal (Sindh Share) and Rs 2.37 billion for 87 New Schemes under Water & Drainage Sector. Out of 163 schemes, 33 schemes are likely to be completed shortly. Sindh Government is also executing massive development programme funded by
Federal Government on Four Mega Projects viz:
• Revamping/Rehabilitation of Irrigation & Drainage System in Sindh,
• Extension of Right Bank Outfall Drain (RBOD) from Sehwan to Sea, and
• Lining of Distributaries & Minors
• Construction of Small Storage Dams in Sindh.
He said under ADP 2013-14, Rs 12.00 billion has been proposed under Water & Drainage Sector, which includes Schemes such as:
• Construction of Water Carrier from LBOD Spinal Drain to Nabisar.
• Sindh Flood Emergency Reconstruction Project for Bunds and Canals.
• Sindh Water Sector Improvement Project.
• Rahabilitation of LBOD and Kotri Drainage Network System including activation of Dhoras.
Out of 213 ongoing schemes in this sector, 75 are expected to be completed by June 2014.
With our relentless efforts, we have been successful in bringing about marked improvements in irrigation sector. We have never lost sight of the fact that water is our precious resource and accordingly, it has been assigned its due significance by means of water planning and devising schemes which may ensure full utilisation of this natural wealth. Fully realising the importance of the Livestock sector in the economic ascension of province, the ADP for next financial year is pitched at Rs 2.43 billion.
A crucial milestone by the Livestock sector has been the establishment of model Dairy Village and Meat Processing Zone at Bhambore spread over 1300 acres with a total cost of Rs 2.80 billion.
The project aims at the development of a modern, self-sufficient Dairy and Meat Processing Facility, targeting the local as well as international markets. The project has been provided current year allocation and its activities are underway.
To improve the quality of our livestock and to enhance productivity we have established Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences at Larkano. An amount of Rs 75.000 million has been provided for establishment of the institution.
A new scheme was launched for the establishment of Cattle Colonies with District & Private Participation (Phase-I). This scheme is being implemented in three districts namely, Tharparker, Umerkot & Khairpur with a cost of Rs 1441.45 million. During the next ADP-2013-14, Rs 533.669 million has been allocated.
Equally important is the role of the Fisheries sector in the economic uplift of the province, Syed Qaim Ali Shah said adding the Government has allocated Rs 444.87 million for the development of Fisheries sector for the fiscal 2013-14. Considering the importance of fish exports for a robust and thriving economy, an exclusive initiative has been taken to set up Karachi Fish Harbour to meet the global standards of fish processing in order to export them across the world. The Revival of Fishing Industries has also been launched with a total cost of Rs 868.601 million for five years, that is, 2011-12 to 2015-16.
Sindh Government believes in instituting of an effective and efficient system of Local Government. The CM said he can safely say that with continuity of sincere efforts, our cities will rank amongst the best in the world. We are determined to make the Local Governments financially independent and viable. The transfers to local governments are pitched Rs 39.30 billion for FY 2013-14.
Budgetary allocation has been kept as special packages for improvement of major cities in Sindh.
He said it is the duty of this government to extend essential amenities of life to all areas of Sindh. Water supply and proper drainage being benchmark indicators of quality of life are on high priority of Sindh Government.
An allocation of Rs 3.00 billion has been made for water supply and drainage schemes in different parts of Sindh. Out of this, Rs 2 billion will be spent on operationalisation of the dysfunctional 12000 schemes through outsourcing of operations. Under Special Initiative Department, four major schemes for establishment of Drinking Water Hubs (2500 units) across Sindh have been launched at a cost of Rs 14017.06 million. During the next FY 2013-14, Rs 6176 million has been allocated for the scheme.
Sindh Government realises the importance of development of communication means for vibrant economic activity. In the current financial year an amount of Rs 15.55 billion was earmarked for development of road network in Sindh. 1,067 kms new road have been included in the network and 474 kms existing roads have been improved.
In continuation of our policies, for the next financial year an amount of Rs 16.80 billion has been kept for development of road network. By end of the next financial year 1000 kms new road will be added to the existing network. Also, 450 kms will be improved during the next year. 500 kms of rural roads are being constructed in assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency. The cost of the Project is Rs 8.8 billion. Work is being carried out on 440 km of road out of which 300 km will be completed shortly.
Qaim Ali Shah said we fully recognise the needs of improved traffic management in Karachi. An improved and efficient transport system will increase the efficiency of Karachi as the economic backbone of Pakistan as it will increase in work hours and will enhance productivity. The project of revival of Karachi Circular Railway for Karachi with the assistance of Japan International Cooperation Agency will enter into implementation during FY 2013-14. The Karachi Circular Railway will have a dual track of 41.12 km with 24 stations at an average distance of 1.5 km. The estimated cost of the project is US$ 2.6 billion. The negotiations with JICA are almost finalised and we are at the stage of signing loan agreement.
Sindh Chief Minister said that S-III is one of the major projects for Karachi having a cost of Rs 7982 million out of which Federal Government has to contribute Rs 3991 million. So far the Federal Government has released Rs 789 million for this project and Govt of Sindh has contributed by releasing Rs 800 million. Rs 1040 million have been allocated in the ADP -2013-14. The treated sewerage disposal through this project will have immense environmental and health related benefits.
Another mega project K-IV has been approved by ECNEC at a cost of Rs 25.552 billion with 50% share of Government of Sindh. Rs 1000 million has been allocated for this project in ADP-2013-14. Through this project 260 MGD additional water will be supplied to residents of Karachi. This project will be a major step in meeting the ever growing requirements of water for Karachi.
The establishment of Sindh Bank has been a major achievement of this government. To further endorse upon our success, Government of Sindh plans to establish Modaraba, Leasing and Insurance Companies. We have kept Rs 200 million for next financial year 2013-14 for the said purpose. The initiative will provide innovative and competitive financial products like Ijara, Morabaha, Musharaka, and other Islamic financial products along with creation of job opportunities. Insurance coverage in our country is very low. Realising this gap, we intend to establish an insurance company which will provide much needed financial cover to middle and low income groups at competitive rates.
Similarly, availability of affordable capital is essential for asset creation, therefore a leasing company is also part of this plan. Cheap capital will be ensured through this facility, which will be extended to urban and rural areas specially where traditional mode of financing is not available. The Public Private Partnership Initiatives (PPPI) in the world have been taken up to bring in private finance in the provision of public sector infrastructure development and this is considered as the most effective mode of accelerating infrastructure development.
Sindh under the able guidance of President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari embarked upon the PPP framework in the year 2008-09 and was able to develop first ever PPP Project namely Hyderabad- Mirpurkhas Road in which Korean investment and commercial lending was ensured.
After the successful launch of HMDC, Government of Sindh has also launched Jhirk- Mullah Katiar Bridge and Road Project, which is at the construction stage while two energy projects at Nooriabad for 50 MW each are at advanced stages of signing of project agreements.
For the next year, Karachi-Thatta Dual Carriageway, Hyderabad-Tando Mohammad Khan Dual Carriageway and Food Silo Projects will be offered to private partners through a competitive process.
We have also taken up Bus Rapid Transit Project for Karachi under PPP mode which will be offered for investor solicitation during next financial year.
The Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) assessment of the Government of Sindh was lastly conducted in 2008-09 jointly by the Government of Sindh and development partners (World Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Union and UK’s Department of International Development. The same is being updated this year with the assistance of development partners through a grant of 15 million Euros from the European Union. The PEFA will help in identifying the weak areas of public expenditure and help in prioritisation/ reforms for better fiscal management and enforce financial accountability.
He said that Government of Sindh has remained engaged in multiple fiscal and budgetary reforms since last few years. One of the important reforms is the budgeting based on Medium Term Budgetary Framework (MTBF). MTBF is a multiyear approach to budgeting which links the spending plans of government to its policy objectives ensuring that all spending by the departments is used efficiently in pursuit of a defined strategy. It makes the budget process more transparent and efficient.
The tax base of Sindh Sales Tax is insufficient and limited to a few service items and, at the existing tax base, it is not possible to achieve the desirable tax-to-GDP ratio in this sector.
With a view to supplement the national efforts for achieving the NFC-desired Tax to GDP ratio of 15% by the terminal year 2014-15 and also for equitably taxing the service sectors in Sindh economy, the Provincial tax administrations need to be reformed and the tax base needs to be appropriately expanded. With this end in view, the Government proposes that the existing tax anomalies and inequities be removed, the existing exemptions be reviewed and few more of the items in the services sector be brought in the tax net without increasing tax rate.
In budget speech, the CM announced that Sindh will not increase the existing standard rate of 16%. This will not only contain inflation but shall also not burden the consumers with extra tax or increased prices. Although our net receipts will decrease because of the inputs taxed by the Federation at 17%, this loss of revenue shall be sustained in order to provide relief to the ordinary consumers of Sindh Sales Taxable services.
(ii) The services of advertising agents, security agencies, commodity brokers, marriage halls and lawns, event management and public bonded warehouses are proposed to be levied. The services of security agencies will be taxed at 10%, instead of the standard rate of 16%. Small marriage halls & lawns located on plots of 800 sq. yds or less shall remain exempt;
(iii) Some of the services provided under contracts or agreements are proposed to be specified as being liable to sales tax with a view to removing doubts, disputes and confusion about their tax status in view of the fact that tax is already levied on the services of contractual execution of work. These services are specified in the amending provisions of the Bill in relation to the Second Schedule to the Sindh Sales Tax on Services Act, 2011;
(iv) Exemption on internet and broadband services are proposed to be withdrawn. However, internet services of upto Rs 1,500/- per month shall remain exempt, for the benefit of students and households;
(v) Certain new services like beauty parlours (exceeding annual turnover of upto Rs 3.6 million) and race clubs are proposed to be brought in the tax net. The beautician services will be taxed at the reduced rate of 10%;
(vi) The Bed Tax of 7.5% is proposed to be withdrawn. Hotels will continue to pay only the Sindh sales tax on their services;
(vii) The offer of the Sindh Chapter of the Constructors Association of Pakistan (CAP) to pay Sindh sales tax at a reduce rate of 4% without any input tax adjustment is proposed to be accepted;
(viii) On the pattern of the exemption from tax on the Bank’s services of utility bills collection, the similar services by NADRA Technology Limited (NTL) are also proposed to be exempted;
(ix) Certain legislative arrangements have been proposed with a view to providing specificity, clarity and un-ambiguity in law.
The Special Development and Maintenance of Infrastructure Cess is being levied for the purpose of meeting the costs of wear and tear on the infrastructure due to heavy traffic of the goods entering the province by air or sea, and for providing security. It is proposed to enhance the rate of the Cess from 0.80%-0.85% to 0.90%- 0.95% on various slabs of the imports to facilitate additional funds to the
Government for meeting the cost of maintenance of infrastructure.
It is further proposed to increase property tax from 20% to 25% on annual rental value of buildings and lands and increase in license of Trade and Import of Potable Liquor and Retail of Liquor License from Rs 600,000 to 800,000 and from 350,000 to 500,000 respectively.
Concluding budget speech, the Chief Minister said “I would like to thank you for according me this opportunity to present the first budget of this reelected government. We make a commitment to serve the people of Sindh with new resolve and energy. We will make every attempt to justify the confidence people of Sindh have shown in us.” – APP