Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Despite protests, the Sindh Assembly adopts a budget of Rs1,477 billion

The Sindh Assembly approved a budget of 1.477 billion rupees for 2021-22 in the face of opposition protests.

It is a rare occurrence in the history of the provincial assemblies when neither the opposition makes a short proposal to reduce development costs, nor does the opposition leader or prime minister, who happens to be the chair of the chamber, speak during the session.

Pakistan’s Muttahida Qaumi and Tehreek-e-Insaf movements label it a deficit, anti-grassroots, and anti-poverty, and say they also ignore Karachi and other urban cities in terms of development plans.

“I had a meeting with the opposition to avoid protests and to focus on the budget. We also gave opposition members a chance to make a move, but no one seemed interested. My office does not accept the summarized proposal,” said Aga Spokesman Siraj Durani while chairing a meeting this morning.

He asked Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to submit the total grant for the next fiscal year to approve the budget.

But when the Prime Minister stood up, the general opposition began to protest. On the sidelines of the boisterous meeting, Murad, who also serves as finance minister, disclosed the total grants for the fiscal year and announced a 20 percent increase in civil servants’ salaries while setting the provincial minimum wage of 25,000 rupees.

In the budget, the provincial government increases the development portfolio by 41 percent and provides Rp 329 billion. Despite protests, the budget was approved by a majority.

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