Sindh govt enhances grants for LG to Rs 78 billion in budget

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Sindh govt enhances grants for LG to Rs 78 billion in budget

ISLAMABAD-Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah Wednesday said that the provincial government worked closely with Local Governments (LG) to solve the problems of people at their doorsteps as it had enhanced the allocation for them from Rs 74.5 billion to Rs 78.0 billion, increased by 5 per cent for the next Fiscal Year 2020-21.

Presenting Sindh budget for financial year 2020-21, in the Sindh Assembly here , he said that the grant to local bodies of Sindh allocated for the year 2019-20 was Rs 74.5 billion, and Rs 67.5 billion had been released to all local councils by May 30, 2020.

He said that the provincial government was sharing the financial burden of KMC. The funds are released on monthly basis on account of regular OZT share, regular pension amount and regular grant-in-aid.

He said that the Regular Grant-in-Aid amounting to Rs 204.0 million was being released to KDA on monthly basis to meet out salary/Pension and other Non-Development expenditure. The Funds released to KDA during current financial year 2019-20 are Rs 2.4 billion, Rs 470.7 million on account of regular grant in aid and one -time special grant in aid respectively, he added.

He said that the provincial government was also paying monthly electricity charges of KW&SB since 2016. Approximately Rs 6.0 billion were the expenditure as this account in 2019-20, he noted.

He said that Rs 34.7 billion were allocated for 315 on-going schemes and 93 new schemes in the current financial year 2019-20. The schemes include Greater Karachi Water Sewerage Project (S-III) and Greater Karachi Water Supply Project (K-IV). Total expenditure incurred on these schemes till May 15, 2020 was Rs 11.4 billion, he added.

He said that the main emphasis was given to complete on-going schemes which had reached on advance level of implementation.

He said that Rs 39.0 billion were allocated for 398 water supply & sanitation schemes of Public Health Engineering and Local Government Departments in ADP 2019-20.

The CM said that some of the important schemes included for Elimination of Sewage Discharging in Fresh Water Bodies and for Rehabilitation of 494 Non-Functional Water supply and sewerage schemes of WASA, Hyderabad. These schemes made expenditure of Rs 11.0 billion as on June 05, 2020, this may increase by the end of June, he added.

He said that Rs 19.3 billion had been allocated for more than 300 schemes of water supply & sanitation of Local Government and Public Health Engineering departments. In addition a mega project “Karachi Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project (KWSSIP)” for KW&SB has been approved at total cost of Rs 3.4 billion with financial assistance of World Bank, he added.

He said that the various activities had been adjusted to address COVID-19. These include provision of safe water and basic sanitation services to water scarce villages, a robust social mobilization and behavior change component inclusive of health aspects and Hygiene advocacy in public schools and construction of latrines with hand washing stations.

He said that the  Sindh government had initiated Competitive and Liveable City of Karachi (CLICK) project with assistance of the World Bank. Its total cost was Rs 33.600 billion, he said adding it was aimed at improving infrastructure in Karachi and capacity building of all the councils of metropolitan City. The project will be completed by 2025.

The three major components of the project include improvement of Capacity for Infrastructure Improvement of

LCs of Karachi under Local Government Department with project component amounting to US $ 181.86 Million.  Improvement of Urban Property Tax System through Excise, Taxation and Narcotics Department with project component amounting to US $ 40.4 Million.

The third is Sindh Investment Portal through Investment Department with project component amounting to US $ 17.2 Million

He said that the Karachi Water & Sewerage Services Improvement Project (KWSSIF) was a project for infrastructure development of the age-old facilities of Water & Sewerage Services in Karachi. It is also aimed at revamping the entire institutional infrastructure to make it a financially viable customer-oriented world class water utility of Pakistan.