Top priorities in Sindh budget are Education, health and security, says Murad

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said on Tuesday that his government gave top priority to education, health and security for which it made hefty allocations in the new budget for financial year 2017-18.

In his post-budget press conference, he made it clear that the budget he presented on Monday was tax free as no new tax, or even the property tax on houses measuring 120 square yards, was imposed.

Accompanied by provincial ministers Nasir Shah, Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani and Mukesh Kumar Chawla, he said that his government earmarked Rs202.2 billion for education, Rs100.32bn for health and Rs92.91bn for law and order in the new budget.

In response to a question, the CM claimed that even “the poorest of the poor” were not ignored in the provincial budget as his government had announced an Eid and Ramazan package for them for which a sum of Rs3.40bn had been allocated.

He said that under this package Rs2,000 each would be paid before Eid to all 1.7 million people enlisted in the Benazir Income Support Programme.

To another question, Mr Shah said that an inordinate delay in the 9th National Finance Commission Award was actually the failure of the federal government.

He said that the Sindh government had demanded of the federal government that sales tax collection on articles be transferred to the provinces and Karachi be given a special package being the largest contributor to the public exchequer.

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