Sindh raises salaries by up to 10 percent

Murad vows to defend 18th Amendment: All healthcare professionals to receive risk allowance: Farmers to get subsidised fertilizers

By: News Desk      Published: 05:06 PM, 17 Jun, 2020
Sindh raises salaries by up to 10 percent

Amid the unending ruckus caused by the opposition members, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday tabled the 2020-21 budget with up to 10 percent increase in the salaries of the government employees, health risk allowance for all healthcare professionals and subsidy on fertilizers.

Murad in his budget speech also vowed to defend and not make any compromise on the 18th Amendment, with a warning that any change could weaken the Federation, as the provincial government had to slash the development allocations amid the cut in the province’s share by the Centre.

As the PTI and GDA members chanted slogans to make a deafening noise, the chief minister said the province was experiencing multiple problems caused by the locust attack and the coronavirus pandemic.

The budget for the year 2020-21 worth Rs1,241.13 billion with a Rs18 billion deficit was being presented amid severe challenges, said Murad who added that the document focused on the poor.

The chief minister announced that all the health professionals would receive one-month basic pay as the health risk allowance till the end of the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, there would be a 10 percent raise for the BPS-1 to BPS-16 government employees and five percent for BPS-17 and above.

The Sindh government presented the budget amid a severe financial crunch as the Centre had slashed the province share by Rs233 billion in the current financial year and the amount is further reduced for the next.

This situation is being faced by every province. That’s why BNP-M chief Akhtar Mengal, before announcing his decision to leave the ruling alliance, on Wednesday questioned whether the move to revise the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award is part of the plan to roll back the 18th Amendment. And the remarks made by the Sindh minister about the 18th Amendment were also in the same context.

Among the salient features are the Rs200 billion allocated for the Sindh People’s Programme, Rs300 billion for small businesses, Rs200 billion for poverty alleviation in rural areas, Rs100 billion for subsidy on fertilizers and Rs20 billion for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the budget document, Rs139.5 billion were spared for the health sector keeping in view the massive efforts by the provincial government to tackle the coronavirus spread.

In the health sector, the risk allowance will entail an additional expenditure of Rs1 billion while and amount of Rs1.5 billion has reserved for the Lady Health Workers.

During his address, the chief minister said the locusts were destroying crops over a huge area and the farmers would face more losses in the coming year.