Sindh faces Rs109bn shortfall in federal revenue transfers: CM


— The premier had vowed to give Rs162 million in a development package alone
–CM says PM ignoring his letters, never had a one-to-one conversation with him

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the federal government during the last four months had to release Rs278.4 billion against which the provincial government had received only Rs169.2 billion which showed a shortfall of Rs109.17 billion.

“This is the position of the vertical distribution of funds; therefore, the provincial government is facing serious problems,” he said while responding to the question of CPNE delegation members led by its President Arif Nizami who called on him here at CM House on Tuesday. Minister for Information Saeed Ghani and Advisor to CM Murtaza Wahab were also present on the occasion.

Responding to a question, the chief minister said that the federal government had to release Rs278.4 billion to Sindh government from July to October, but it released only Rs169.17 billion. “This shows a shortfall of Rs109.17 billion which is quite a big amount to upset our budgetary commitments,” he said and added that there was Rs45 billion monthly salary bill of the provincial government. “When you face a shortfall of Rs109 billion how would you be able to meet your expenditures,” he questioned.

The chief minister said that the federal government had to release Rs7 billion against royalty on oil and gas last year but today, it had released that amount. “This is how the financial distribution is trickled down by crippling the financial positions of the provinces,” he deplored.

The chief minister said that it was a wrong impression that he was not going to receive the prime minister whenever he visited Sindh. “The federal government always releases a detailed minute-to-minute schedule of the prime minister’s visit, including the names of the people like governor, chief minister etc. and place where they would receive him,” he said and added when the prime minister had undertaken his visit to Karachi his name was in the programme; therefore, he received him and accompanied him to Mazar-e-Quaid and met him at Governor House.

“In the subsequent visits of the prime minister to Karachi, his name was not reflected in the programme; therefore, he did not go to receive him,” he said.

The Sindh chief minister said that he had written a number of letters to the prime minister but he did not respond any of them. “Yes, I talk to the federal ministers on the telephone but have never spoken anything with the prime minister on his phone,” he said.

He brushed aside the impression of his differences with the Sindh governor. “No, we are on good terms and we keep meeting with each other,” he said and added he felt wrong when the federal government ignoring the chief executive of the province made the Sindh Governor in-charge of the development works proposed to be launched by the federal government in Karachi.

“Here they are deviating the governor from his constitutional role,” he said.

Shah said that the prime minister had vowed to give Rs162 million development package to Karachi but so far, the city had not received even Rs162.

To another question, the chief minister said that there were different institutions which had acquired Sindh government land for a specific purpose, but now they were constructing plaza there. “The Pakistan Railways is on the top of the list of such institutions,” he said and added the railways’ ministry was not giving ROW to Sindh government for KCR and we would not allow them to develop it as ML-9, he said.

Talking about KMC, the chief minister said that his government had given Rs41 billion to KMC during last three years.

“The provincial government has also undertaken various development works in the city, including reconstruction of roads and improvement of the sewerage system,” he said. Replying to a question, the chief minister said that the PPP position on `sit-in politics was very clear. “To stage peaceful protests is the right of everyone, but we do not believe in dislodging a government through a sit-in,” he said.