Sindh told to arrange Rs270bn for uplift schemes


The fate of ongoing developmental schemes in Sindh worth Rs270 billion is now at stake, with the Federal government pulling the plug on funds for these projects, Pakistan Today has learnt.
These projects were initiated by the Federal government under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), sources told Pakistan Today. But after consensus was evolved on the 7th National Finance Commission (NFC) Award and the 18th Amendment, the Finance Ministry finished off all funding.
Sindh’s authorities, including Chief Minister (CM) Qaim Ali Shah, subsequently ran from pillar to post to get funding revived, but the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet turned down Sindh’s request of financing the Rs277 billion-worth projects in a meeting held in July 2010. The Centre’s position was that the provinces should arrange funds on their own, sources said.
CM Shah subsequently approached President Asif Ali Zardari, who assured him that the matter will be resolved and that the Federal government will ensure provision of funds for the completion of ongoing schemes within the stipulated time, sources said.
If the Centre does not ensure provision of funds, hundreds of important development schemes being executed by the Federal government under the PSDP are bound to suffer, while funds already spent will be deemed as wasted, sources added.
The Sindh Finance Department has recently forwarded a letter to the Finance Ministry, detailing the current status of these schemes and mode of financing. The letter explicitly states that the provincial government cannot arrange billions of rupees for these schemes.