| GEO Pakistan|
| SA passes Rs327b Sindh Budget for 2009-10|
| Updated at: 2057 PST, Saturday, June 27, 2009|
KARACHI: Sindh’s Rs 327 billion budget for fiscal 2009-10 stood passed after unanimous passage of Finance Bill 2009-10 in Sindh Assembly on Saturday.
Earlier the House approved all the 59 demands for grants for the fiscal year 2009-2010 and rejected 1246 cut motions moved by opposition members and opposed by Chief Minister who is also the Finance Minister.
The cut motions were moved by Shaheryar Maher, Syeda Marvi Rashdi, Mrs Nusrat Saher Abbasi, Dr Muhammed Rafiq Bhambhan, Muhammed Ali Malkani, Jam Madad Ali, Abdul Razak Rahimoon.
Speaking on the occasion Chief Minister hailed the opposition for their efforts in moving the cut motions and said they performed their duty in their way.
Replying to opposition’s criticism on demands pointed out that government has raised the salaries of employees by 15 percent and there is price escalation which, therefore, require higher allocations.
He pointed out that over 200 cut motions were moved by opposition on Demand No 1 only relating to Chief Minister’s House/Secretariat where overall increase in the allocation is merely 10 percent.
He said higher allocation was made for utilities because their charges have already gone up.
As to their criticism on Minister’s expenditure, the Chief Minister said that Minister’s work is not to sit in their offices and he has directed them to remain on rout for at least 15-20 days to solve problems of people in various districts and so were the Advisors who have been assigned to monitor the development works.
Qaim Ali Shah said he would not say that Ministers in the previous government were not used to work but the fact is that present ministers deal with 200-300 people in their office sat a time listening and solving their problems.
Similarly, he said the government is spending on purchase of vehicles because there are Ministers in the present government who are using vehicles of models as old as 1996 which sometime get stranded on roads.
He told the opposition that present government has come to power with a commitment and it has to fulfil the promises made to people.
Chief Minister recalled that last year development budget was for Rs 55 billion which, this year, has been raised to Rs 75 billion as the objective is to benefit the masses through new initiatives.
Qaim Ali Shah pointed out that this government has inducted 1500 doctors and would induct more and asked the opposition whether or not it would require allocations in the budget.
Further, he said, the government has raised the salaries of employees by 15 percent and has earmarked Rs 2.5 to Rs 3 billion for new initiatives. He said that girl students of far flung areas who used to be paid a stipend of Rs 1000 are now to be paid Rs 3400 for which funds have been set aside in the budget.
Regarding program of Lady Health Visitors, he said it was launched by Shaheed Benazir Bhutto at a salary of Rs 4000 per month and now as per announcement of Prime Minister the minimum wages have been set at Rs 6000 per month and it will further increase with the 15 percent raise.
He informed that this government recruited 10,000 constables while salaries of existing force of 19000 constables will also increase with the 15 percent raise given by the government as a result of which the expenditure will also increase.
Similarly allocations also made for better uniform for police and equipping them with latest weapons, APCs and mobiles. He said while a constable is carrying an old model gun, the criminals are equipped with rocket launchers.
He said the government has infused new spirit in the police force who, when they lay down their lives, their families are given Rs 2 million besides a plot and job to one of the family member.
He said that when they catch or kill dangerous dacoits they are rewarded and recently in such an incident, the government gave reward of Rs 10 million.
He said it is this force which killed 10 dacoits near Larkana and also killed five terrorists without losing a any soul of the force.
Chief Minister said that opposition has also raised objection if the government wants to take IT to UC level in all the districts of Sindh.
He admitted that prices of medicines have gone up and we will talk to federal government. But Sindh’s expenses have risen on this count.
Speaking on the occasion Leader of the Opposition Jam Madad Ali felicitated Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro who, he said, conducted the House proceedings in a conducive environment by adjusting everyone.
He said that Budget 2009-10 was passed in a very good style and hopefully it will be implemented with the same spirit as well.
He felicitated the Finance, Planning and Development departments and Chief Secretary Sindh who, he said, worked hard in preparing the budget.