The Sindh government is currently announcing its budget for the fiscal year 2021-22 with an outlay of over Rs 1.47 trillion in the provincial assembly. It is a no-tax budget presented in the provincial legislature, announced by Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah in his budget speech. “Budget making is always a daunting task when global economy is suffering from a pandemic and uncertainty,” said Murad Shah in his opening speech. “The focus of this budget is the overall betterment and welfare of the people and optimal resource usage is necessary,” he added. “We are short of Rs 147 billion from the federal government as of today and it always has been like this; the government has always failed the people.” The Chief Minister said the government aims to provide to the most vulnerable people in the province and bring about mature development. Major milestones for the province are improving health facilities, community infrastructure, infrastructure for educational institutes, managing health institutions, nutrition support, micro- assets, improve agriculture and value chain, provide clean drinking water and improve connectivity in towns of the province by transportation methods. The provincial ADP has been increased by 100 percent at Rs 222 billion, Rs105 billion is proposed for law and order, Rs172 billion for health, Rs277.5 billion for school education which comprises Rs 2.5 billion for the primary schools, Rs 2 billion for secondary schools and Rs22.8 billion for college education, registering a 11.8% compared with Rs 20.446 billion for financial year 2020-21. As many as 17 new Degree Colleges will be established in districts of Hyderabad, Jamshoro, Sukkur, Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Sanghar, Umerkot and three districts of Karachi Division, Korangi, Malir and West, the Sindh CM said. An allocation of Rs 4 billion has been proposed in ADP 2021-22 for 43 on-going and 64 new schemes of the College Education Department. The Sindh CM also said improvements to female education would provide a country with more knowledgeable workforce, healthier families and ultimately prosperous societies. Rs.100 million has been allocated for Bakhtawar Cadet College for Girls Shaheed Benazirabad, being the first institution of its kind in Pakistan, aims at providing quality education to female cadets and empowering them to see that they have the ability to be a great generation. Besides that, Rs 292.55 million has been earmarked for Seven Cadet Colleges in Sindh. Five new public colleges have been approved for next financial year (NFY). Syed Murad Ali Shah said that we have kept Rs.1 billion of endowment fund in NFY. The fund aimed to provide financial assistance to students, he added. An amount of Rs 120 million has been allocated for Sindhi Adabi Board- Jamshoro for NFY against Rs 100 million provided in FY 2020-21. An amount of Rs.100 million has been allocated in NFY for co-curricular activities of sports, purchase of lab equipment / material, the Sindh CM said. Rs 1.2 billion has been proposed for scholarships , a grant of Rs 200 billion for The Thar Higher Institute of Engineering, Science and Technology, Rs 3 billion for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME). In addition, Rs 24.72 billion has been set aside for the pandemic while Rs 18.32 billion has been allocated for the purchase of drugs and medicine and Rs 10 billion has been set aside for the people affected by the pandemic under the Sindh People Support Programme. Rs 7.6 billion has been proposed for 9 vertical programs, some of which include the Lady Health Workers Programme, Polio as well as the tuberculosis programme. The provincial government has also agreed to create 964 new posts for the health sector. The development expense of the province stands at Rs 329 billion, Rs 30 billion for district ADP, Rs 71 billion for foreign project assistance and Rs 5.4 billion for PSDP grants, Rs 3 billion for Poverty Alleviation Fund. The provincial budget proposes a 25% raise in salaries of government employees up to the 15 grade as well as in pensions of retired employees. The minimum wage for the labourers is expected to be set at Rs 25,000, sources said. Personal allowance for government employees in BPS-01 to BPS-05 would be as follows: BPS-01 Rs.1900/- per month, BPS-02 Rs.1500/- per month, BPS-03 Rs.900/- per month, BPS-04 Rs.250/- per month and BPS-05 Rs.250/- per month. Moreover, 10% increase in pension is also proposed for next financial year 2021-22 for employees of government of Sindh. Rs 2 billion has been earmarked for low cost housing initiatives for people who do not have their own houses or those citizens whose houses are in dilapidated conditions posing risk to life and property. In addition, Rs 2 billion is for business support funds while Rs 16 billion has been proposed for the welfare of the citizens living in the province. Rs 1.7 billion has been put forward for the revival of the IT sector while Rs 3 billion is proposed for the revival of the agricultural industry. Rs 38.2 billion is expected for the road and communciation sector. Rs 119.97 billion for law and order for the upcoming financial year 2021-22 has been put forward, an increase of 5.4 per cent from the previous year’s budget of Rs 113.87. The Sindh Home Department (including police, jails, rangers and other security agencies) was the third largest department in terms of resource allocation with a share of 13 percent in total current revenue expenditure in FY 2020-21. The chief minister said that because of resource constraints, the public private partnership (PPP) projects would be mainstay of development, especially in Karachi. “Projects like Malir Expressway, Dhabeji Special Economic Zone, urban roads project in Karachi, Hub Canal and treatment plants will get special thrust in the next fiscal year,” he said.