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Sindh Announces Rs3.056 Trillion Budget for 2024-25 with Significant Salary Hikes

Karachi: Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah presented the provincial budget for 2024-25, unveiling a comprehensive financial plan totaling Rs3.056 trillion. This budget, presented in the Sindh Assembly on Friday, marks the 13th consecutive budget by the Sindh government under Shah’s leadership, following his re-election for a third term in February 2024.

Key highlights of the budget include a significant increase in salaries and pensions. Government employees will see salary increases ranging from 22% to 30%, with the largest hike for employees in grades 1 to 16. Officers in grade 17 and above will receive a 22% increase. Additionally, pensions will rise by 15%, and the minimum wage has been set at Rs37,000.

The budget places a strong emphasis on development, with Rs959 billion allocated for development expenditures, representing 31% of the total budget. Education and health sectors receive substantial funding, with Rs519 billion and Rs334 billion respectively, aimed at enhancing services and infrastructure.

Other key allocations include:

  • Local Government: Rs329 billion
  • Agriculture: Rs58 billion
  • Energy: Rs62 billion
  • Irrigation: Rs94 billion
  • Transport: Rs56 billion

The budget also addresses social welfare with significant allocations for social security, housing schemes, and subsidies aimed at reducing financial burdens on citizens. Law and order have not been overlooked, with dedicated funding for police stations and public safety initiatives.

The budget’s income projections include Rs3 trillion in expected income, with 62% from federal transfers and 22% from provincial receipts. Key revenue sources include Rs350 billion from sales tax on services and Rs269 billion from GST plus tax.

Despite the extensive budget, the government has introduced a 7% tax on beauty products, including items such as lipstick, nail polish, and mascara. This decision has raised concerns among consumers and shopkeepers in Karachi, who fear the price hikes will reduce affordability and sales.

Chief Minister Shah emphasized the budget’s focus on development and social services, aiming to improve the overall quality of life in Sindh. However, the new taxes and the potential financial impact on consumers are expected to spark further debate.

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