The Sindh government has allocated Rs71 billion, including Rs5 billion for development projects, for the local government’s councils across the province, counting the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, for the next financial year.
The provincial budget comprises a 12-billion-rupee special package for carrying out major development schemes in Karachi in continuation of the 10-billion-rupee package announced in the last fiscal year’s budget.
During his budgetary speech on Monday, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah told the Sindh Assembly that a distribution mechanism for the province’s local councils was to be determined by the Provincial Finance Commission, which had started deliberating on a resource-sharing formula.
He said that another important proposal that was being considered was devolution of collection of Urban Immovable Property Tax. “In our own experience, devolution of collection of taxes to the appropriate levels increases efficiency and transparency.”
He added that at present the collection of Rs2 billion in lieu of Urban Immovable Property Tax was dismally low but had a huge potential. “Its devolution will increase the tax net while providing considerable increase in resources of the local councils.”
He admitted that the municipal authorities of Karachi had been underperforming. “But we are taking steps to bring structural improvements to facilitate the municipal authorities.”
He told the House that for the next financial year the government intended to replicate the fiscal management systems of the Sindh administration at the LG level in the metropolis and other districts of the province. “This will control pilferage and improve efficiency of the local councils.”
He said two districts of Karachi had been contracted for collection and disposal of solid waste at a cost of Rs1.25 billion. “This intervention has not only provided the people with much needed cleanliness, but has also created newer job opportunities and inflow of capital in the form of investment.”
He added that the experience would be replicated in other parts of Sindh. “We have allocated Rs5.5 billion for the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board in addition to Rs71 billion earmarked for the local councils.”
The CM said the development portfolio of the LG department for the current financial year was Rs20.73 billion for 422 uplift schemes. “Out of the total allocation, Rs16.271 billion were earmarked for 409 (230 ongoing and 179 new) schemes of the LG wing.”
He added that Rs2 billion had been allocated for the new scheme for improvement of major cities and towns, and Rs2.46 billion for 12 solid waste management projects.
He told the legislature that for the next fiscal year the Sindh government had earmarked Rs28.78 billion for 411 development schemes of the LG department.
He said the Greater Karachi Water Supply Project (K-IV) and the Greater Karachi Sewerage Plan (S-III) were extremely important schemes for the city’s development. “I had earlier announced that our government would go to any extent to secure finances for K-IV. Now, as the federal government has committed Rs9.95 billion for the project, the Sindh administration will provide Rs6.4 billion for timely completion of the scheme. For S-III we have allocated Rs1.5 billion.”
“We had inherited a ravished, dilapidated, unplanned and ruined Karachi,” said the chief executive, adding that with his sustained efforts, the city was now more peaceful and liveable.
He said that during the next financial year major schemes would be completed. “Construction of University Road from the NED University to Safoora Chowk will cost Rs770 million. Reconstruction of Mosamiyat Road from Madras Chowk to Super Highway will cost Rs200 million.”
He added that widening both sides of Sharea Faisal from Metropole to Star Gate would cost Rs850 million, while construction of an underpass at Submarine Chowrangi would cost Rs500 million.
He said the new schemes to be taken up in the next fiscal year included the 10.5-billion-rupee World Bank-funded Karachi Neighbourhood Improvement Project. “Under the project, infrastructure will be developed in the old city areas of South, Malir and Korangi districts.”
He added that construction of a 24-foot road on either sides of Gujjar Nullah would cost Rs1.2 billion, while construction of a 1,000mgd pump house at Dhabeji would cost Rs1.6 billion and would supply 65mgd additional water from Haleji Lake to Karachi.
CM Shah said Rs1.4 billion were earmarked for setting up five combined effluent treatment plants in the industrial areas of the metropolis. “A new landfill site for Karachi will be established at Dhabeji for Rs500 million.”
He added that Rs1.5 billion had been allocated for constructing a bridge at the Tipu Sultan-Khalid Bin Waleed intersection on Shaheed-e-Millat Road. “Remodelling of 12,000 roads in Landhi and Korangi will cost Rs1.5 billion.”
He told the House that to promote ease of doing business, development management committees would carry out uplift and rehabilitation of infrastructures of the industrial areas of the city, for which Rs1.65 billion had been provided.
The chief executive said Rs37.13 billion had been allocated for the development of Hyderabad division. Highlighting the schemes to be taken up in the next fiscal year, he said the sewerage system at Qasimabad would be upgraded. “Phase-II will be completed for Rs1.2 billion and phase-III will be launched with Rs1.9 billion.”
He added that construction of the 100mgd water filter plant for Hyderabad would cost Rs1.3 billion. “Establishment of three garbage transfer stations in Hyderabad will cost Rs226 million. Widening of the 38km road from Tando Allahyar Bypass to Jhando Mari will cost Rs183 million.”
He said the dualisation of the 24km Tando Allahyar Bypass Road would cost Rs275 million, adding that establishment of a 30-bed paediatric intensive care unit at the Liaquat University Hospital would cost Rs50 million.
“The remaining work of the Waste Water Stabilisation Treatment Ponds at Qasimabad will cost Rs50 million. The improvement of drainage system along with water supply lines for Kotri will also cost Rs50 million, while the widening of the 32km road from Badin Serani to Bhugra Memon will cost Rs125 million.”
CM Shah said the four districts of Mirpurkhas division would be provided with Rs18.72 billion through the Annual Development Programme.
He said the division had remained a high priority for the government in the recent years because of a drought-like situation as well as due to the Thar coalfields. He added that some of the important schemes to be initiated during the next financial year were construction of dams and reservoirs of rainy water in natural flows of hills in Taluka Nagarparkar for Rs50 million.
“Construction of Mirch Mandi at Kunri will cost Rs55 million. Construction of six road bridges in different villages along with the Dhoro Puran Outfall Drain, the Kadhan Pateji Outfall Drain and the Left Bank Outfall Drain (spinal drain) will cost Rs100 million.” He said concrete canvas lining of Naukot Branch Canal System and the Akuto Distry of Mithrao division would cost Rs100 million.
Samar, Azeem. Rs12 billion announced for Karachi’s development. The News, June 6, 2017.