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Murad Ali Shah: Sindh’s budget experiences a 34% surge, strong emphasis on development

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah announced that the province’s budget for the current fiscal year has surged by 34% compared to the previous year, with a notable increase in the development allocation.

Speaking at a post-budget press conference, Shah highlighted that Sindh’s development budget exceeds that of other provinces, emphasizing efforts to collaborate with the federal government to boost GDP growth.

The total budget for Sindh stands at Rs 3,560 billion, Shah disclosed, with ambitious growth rate targets. He pointed out that 31% of this budget is earmarked for development projects, urging the federal government to prioritize Sindh for development initiatives, particularly those interrupted during the caretaker government’s tenure.

Shah explained that delays caused by the suspension of caretaker government projects and inflation-induced cost escalations have been significant challenges.

“The current budget prioritizes the rehabilitation of flood victims, focusing on completing ongoing projects rather than initiating new ones,” he stated, reassuring that growth objectives would still be pursued.

Out of the total budget, Rs 1,912 billion is allocated for current revenue expenditure, Rs 184 billion for capital expenditure, and over Rs 1,000 billion for development in the upcoming fiscal year. Notably, 70% of current revenue expenditure will cover salaries, including 38% for current salaries and 14% for pensions and other grants.

Furthermore, Shah revealed that Sindh anticipates Rs 1,900 billion from the federal government, with Rs 619 billion projected from tax revenue and Rs 43 billion from non-tax revenue. Additionally, around Rs 27.5 billion is expected from current capital receipts, supplemented by foreign assistance.

The Chief Minister also announced salary increases for government employees, proposing a minimum wage of Rs 37,000. Employees in grades 1 to 6 will receive a 30% raise, while those in grades 7 and above will see higher increases to exceed Rs 37,000. Salaries for grades 6 to 16 will increase by 25%, and grades 17 to 22 will witness a 22% increment.

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