KARACHI - Taking notice of incurring huge expenditures on account payments of pensions, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has ordered high level inquiry to look into the matter.
He issued these directives while presiding over a meeting of three-year budget strategy, 2016-17 to 2020-21 here at the CM House on Thursday. The meeting was attended by Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput, all the concerned officers of finance, planning & development and Sindh Revenue Board (SRB).
During the presentation, the chief minister was told that during the financial year of 2015-16 the payments of pension were recorded at Rs52.8 billion and it went upto Rs70 billion in 2016-17 and again increased upto Rs76 in 2017-18. On this occasion, chief minister said that the amount being spent on payments of pension is quite huge and seems to be dubious.
The chief minister directed his Principal Secretary Sohail Rajput to constitute a high-power inquiry and audit committeeto investigate into the payments . “The audit and inquiry should be started from the districts where huge payments have been made,” he said. He added that the audit must be made in a most professional and transparent manner. “You can hire the services of any professional auditor, if you need,” he allowed his principal secretary.
The chief minister also directed the finance department to computerise the entire pension system, along with the payments , number of pensioners. “There should be proper software for pensioners,” he said.
The chief minister was told that in 2015-16 the development expenditures were Rs137.3 billion, in 2016-16 Rs210.1 billion and in 2017-18 Rs344.1 billion.
The meeting was told that that during the last three years the revenue receipts have shown an increase of 8.9 percent while the next year an increase of 14 percent is expected. During 2015-16 Rs650.9 billion were received, in 2016-17 Rs692.9 billion and in 2017-18 Rs854.3 billion are expected to be received.
The chief minister was also informed that straight transfer from the federal government were Rs518 billion in 2015-16, Rs539.9 billion in 2016-17, Rs654.6 billion in 2017-18. The provincial government expects that in 2018-19 it would be around Rs743.1 billion, in 2019-20 Rs845.4 billion and in 2020-21 933.4 billion are expected.
The chief minister directed his finance and planning & Development team to make budget strategy, particularly of development as per projected figures.
It was also pointed out that in the head of Services on Sales Tax Rs61.5 billion were received in 2015-16, Rs78.5 billion in 2016-17 and Rs100 billion are expected in 2017-18 and in 2018-19 it would be more Rs115 billion.
CHINESE ENVOY CALLS ON CM
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah in a meeting with Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing who called on him here at the CM House said that people of Karachi are expecting start of work on Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project. He said that he had discussed its financial close with the CPEC authorities, including him, the ambassador but it could not be started on the birth anniversary of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
The visiting ambassador told the chief minister that the KCR was in the pipeline and its financial close is expected by the end of next month. The chief minister said that his team is in China and with the support of the ambassador, Yao Jing it would be approved.
Syed Murad Ali Shah hoped that he would start work on the KCR project on March 23. “I am going to give good news to the people of Karachi who need KCR in March,” he said.
In the meeting they also discussed he others projects such as Dhabeji Special economic Zone, Keti Bandar and the ambassador on the invitation of the chief minister vowed to visit Thar next month.
Source: The Nation