Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Sunday announced that he would present the annual budget for the next financial year on June 17.
Shah made the announcement during the PPP's parliamentary party meeting here at the Chief Minister House, in which Sindh government spokesperson Senator Murtaza Wahab, all provincial ministers, former minister Manzoor Wassan, and a majority of the MPAs were present.
The chief minister explained that before presenting the budget for the next financial year in the provincial assembly, he would chair a cabinet meeting to approve it.
The coronavirus, he added, has not only affected the people of Sindh but has badly impacted the budget estimates for next year. "Despite critical conditions, I will try my best to provide relief to the poor people of the province through budgetary measures,” he said.
The CM noted that in the next budget, priority would be accorded to the health sector under which new facilities would be established. "We have to contain the virus which is spreading throughout the province,” he said.
He said the virus was claiming more lives every day and the number of cases being reported daily had crossed 2,000. "This is a serious situation, therefore, people need to adopt precautionary measures and the health system needs to be further strengthened," he said.
The chief minister said water and sanitation, poverty alleviation, social sector development, and a revival of the provincial economy would also be given top budgetary priority. However, the focus would be on the completion of the ongoing schemes instead of launching new ones, he added.
Shah stated that after the coronavirus pandemic, locust attacks were another threat to Sindh's agroeconomy. "This threat may cause food security issues in the province,” he said.
The chief minister said that owing to the pandemic, all necessary measures to ensure social distancing in the assembly house would be taken for the session.
"We, in consultation with opposition members in the assembly, are trying to develop SOPs [standard operating procedures] for the budget session,” he said.