Thursday, August 11, 2022

Sindh proposes tax-free budget of Rs 1,477.9 billion

Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah presented at the Sindh Assembly on Tuesday a budget of Rs 1,477.9 billion tax-free with a development disbursement of Rs 329 billion.

CM Shah regretted that actual transfers to Sindh in a fiscal year always fell short of estimates, as the Internal Revenue Council did not meet the collection target set for this. “The federal government is the largest contributor to the province’s finances, comprising 72.5 percent in its entirety,” he said, adding that it was a fact that these shares inevitably fell short of the estimates provided each year, as a result, Provincial development expenditures had to be adjusted to offset the effect.

Highlighting some of the immediate relief projects for the common man, the chief minister said that an amount of Rs17.4 billion was set aside as a “health risk subsidy” for all healthcare professionals in the 2020-21 financial year.

The chief minister said that the province’s total revenue for the financial year 2021-22 was estimated at Rs1,452 trillion against the budget estimate of Rs1.22tr for the current financial year, showing an increase of 19 percent.

“The federal government’s revenue from revenue allocation, direct transfers and donations is estimated at Rs 869.68 billion, which constitutes 72.5 percent of the province’s total revenue, showing an increase of 12.6% over the estimates of Rs 760.3 billion last year,” he added.

Mr. Shah said that against an estimated budget amount of Rs1,073.7 billion, the province’s revised revenue for the financial year 2020-21 was Rs960.4 billion.

Moreover, Shah said budget estimates for direct transfers for the next financial year have decreased 20.6 percent to Rs49.5 billion from Rs 62.34 billion in the current financial year, adding that federal PSDP revenues were estimated at Rs5.37 billion.

CM Shah said the province’s current expenditures were projected at Rs1.14tr, which included current revenue expenditures of Rs1,089tr and current capital expenditures of Rs59.49bn. “This represents 78% of the province’s total expenditure and showed a 14% increase over last year’s Rs1tr estimates,” he said.

Mr. Shah said 1,033 schemes were identified to be completed during the first and second quarters of the 2021-22 financial year and maximum resources would be provided for their on-time completion.

The chief minister said budget policies were essentially focused on supporting domestic businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises, and an INR 30.9 billion social protection and economic sustainability package was proposed for the next fiscal year. He said Rs10 billion was proposed for cash transfers to individuals affected by Covid-19 under the Sindh Peoples Support Program.

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