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Murad unveils Rs2.2 trillion budget with deficit of Rs37.7bn



KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah presented a budget of Rs. 2,247.6 billion for the financial year 2023-24 with a development outlay of Rs 700.1 billion.

The total revenue receipts of the provincial government have been estimated at Rs. 2,209.785 billion, representing an increase of 31.56 percent from the concluding financial year 2022-2023, against the estimated expenditures of Rs 2,247.581 billion, representing a shortfall/deficit of Rs. 37.795 billion.

The chief minister also announced a much-awaited Rs. 10 billion `the Sindh Safe Cities Project’ (Phase-I), for Karachi with a substantial allocation of Rs. 4.5 billion for the year 2023-24.

The new project including the connectivity of Lyari -Gujjar Nala in Central for Rs1.5 billion, the Construction of the Sea Wall and Road from Dolman Mall to China Port, Clifton for Rs1430 million, Construction of a 6-lane Expressway way from the existing Jinnah Bridge along with Lyari Naddi to Hawksbay, including bridge crossing on main Hawkasbay road and a small bridge on navy maritime security jetty area, Keamari for Rs1.8 billion, Construction of a 2+2 lane underpass at Karimabad Distt: Central for Rs1.35 billion, and establishment of Campuses of Public Sector Universities in Districts of Karachi – Korangi, West, Kiamari for Rs4000 million.

It is a matter of immense honour for Murad Ali Shah to present his 12th Budget as Finance Minister, seventh as the Chief Minister, and the fifth consecutive budget of his current concluding tenure on the floor of the provincial assembly.

Revenue Receipts: The estimated Total Receipts of the province include three revenue receipts: Current Revenue Receipts estimated at Rs. 1,823.126 billion, Current Capital Receipts estimated at Rs. 36.133 billion, and Other Receipts estimated at Rs. 295.53 billion. In addition to the revenue receipts, Carryover Cash Balance is estimated to be Rs. 45 billion and the net balance of the Public Accounts of the Province is estimated to be Rs. 10 billion, with Rs. 5,585.66 billion in Receipts and Rs. 5,575.66 billion in Disbursements, in the Financial Year 2023-24.

Current Revenue Receipts include a total of Rs. 1,353.2 billion Federal Transfers in the form of Revenue Assignment estimated at Rs. 1,225 billion, Straight Transfers estimated at Rs. 64.42 billion, and Grants to offset losses of the abolition of OZT estimated at Rs. 33.74 billion. In addition, the head of Revenue Receipts includes estimated Provincial Tax Receipts of Rs. 202.9 billion, Provincial Sales Tax on Services of Rs. 235 billion, and Provincial Non-Tax Receipts of Rs. 32 billion.

Current Capital Receipts include Local Repayments/Loans estimated to be Rs. 6.133 billion and Bank Borrowing estimated to be Rs. 30 billion. Other Receipts include Foreign Project Assistance (FPA) budgeted at Rs. 266.7 billion, Other Federal Grants budgeted at Rs. 22.9 billion, and Foreign Grants budgeted at Rs. 5.92 billion.

Expenditures: The estimated expenditure of Rs. 2,247.58 billion includes Current Revenue Expenditure of Rs. 1,411.2 billion, Current Capital Expenditure of Rs. 136.26 billion, and Development Expenditure Rs. 700.1 billion. The latter includes Provincial ADP excluding FPA of Rs. 380.5 billion, Foreign Project Assistance of Rs. 266.7 billion, Other Federal Grants of Rs. 22.91 billion, and District ADP of Rs. 30 billion. Wheat subsidy: Mr. Shah also announced an allocation of Rs. 63.0 billion to ensure a consistent supply of subsidized wheat to mills and affordable wheat flour to the public; and a budgetary provision of Rs. 16.9 billion for the Pro-Poor Social Protection & Economic Sustainability Program.


Sindh Food Authority inks MoAs with ICCBS to ensure safe, hygienic, healthy food



KARACHI: Sindh Food Authority (SFA), Government of Sindh, has signed two Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi.

Sindh Food Authority signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Halal Certification Testing and Research Services (HCTRS) and the Industrial Analytical Center (IAC), ICCBS, University of Karachi.

This MoA aims to create a long-term framework of collaboration, cooperation, and development of a strong linkage between SFA and the research centers of the ICCBS for the testing of food products, which is in the interest of both institutions.

The SFA Director General Agha Fakhar Hussain and Prof. Dr. Farzana Shaheen, the Director of the ICCBS, University of Karachi, signed the agreement in a meeting held at the HEJ, Research Institute of Chemistry, University of Karachi on Friday evening.

Among others who attended the meeting were officials from SFA Prof. Dr. Asad Sayyed, Dr. Naveed Bhutto, Dr. Seema, Danish Arshad, and officials from ICCBS, including Prof. Dr. Abid Ali, Prof. Dr. Syed Ghulam Musharraf, Prof. Dr. Shabana Simjee, Prof. Dr. Asmat Salim, Dr. Imran Malik, Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmad Khan, Dr. Shakil Ahmed, Jawaid Riaz, and others.

In his talk, the SFA Director-General praised the efforts made by the ICCBS administration to make this agreement possible in the interest of Sindh province. He also praised the industrial support and national services of the International Center (ICCBS).

He said the authority’s goal was to guarantee that the people of Sindh were fed in a safe, hygienic, and healthy manner by standards.

I want to have strong relations between SFA and the ICCBS, University of Karachi, he said, adding that SFA is trying to make all possible efforts to provide better food items to the people of Sindh.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Farzana Shaheen congratulated the officials of the SFA and ICCBS on the signing of the agreement. She hoped that this agreement would further strengthen the University’s HCTRS and IAC in the province.

Halal Testing Laboratory works to standardize and uplift the high-quality standard of nutrition & hygiene in Halal-certified food & other products by international export quality standards, she said.

Talking about IAC, the director said that IAC was doing their best to meet customer’s testing requirements with integrity, reliability, accuracy, precision of data, and timeliness of reports to achieve customer satisfaction and define specifications in compliance with ISO/IEC Laboratory Accreditation System and ISO 9001Quality Management System.

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DG Sindh Food Authority Agha Fakhar disburses certificates



KARACHI: Director General of the Sindh Food Authority Agha Fakhar Hussain distributed certificates among the participants at the HEJ, University of Karachi.

The certificates were given away to the participants of the highly prestigious Training Programme over Halal Food and Meat Detection Methods Training and Inter-laboratory Comparison for Organisation of Islamic cooperation (OIC) countries (2022-SMIC-006) held at Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in hybrid format on October 23, 2023. The certificate were signed by the SMIIC General Secretary.  

Prof. Dr. Syed Ghulam Musharraf (Tamgha-e- Imtiaz) and Prof. Dr. Farzana Sheen attended the event.

The SMIIC (Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries) is an intergovernmental and one of the 17 affiliated organizations of the OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation). Its primary focus is on standardization and metrology technical elements.

Pakistani candidates participated through online sessions. The participants were selected through a detailed procedure and tests.

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Sindh Food Authority appoints Dr Rashida Irtifaq as its Ambassador



KARACHI: The Sindh Food Authority (SFA) is to appoint prominent educationist Professor Dr Rashida Irtifaq Ali as Honorary Senior Food Safety and Hygiene Ambassador.

In light of this significant appointment, a ceremony has been scheduled for January 9, 2024 at Jinnah Auditorium Dr AQ Khan Institute of Bio-Technology and Genetic Engineering, University of Karachi.

Caretaker Chief Minister Sindh Justice (R) Maqbool Baqar, Secretary Food, Government of Sindh and other dignitaries will attend the event to support the vision of the Sindh Food Authority.

Professor Dr Rashida Irtifaq Ali has been an integral part of Karachi University for the past fifty years where she not only fulfilled her teaching responsibilities but also played a pivotal role in establishing the Department of Food Sciences and Technology.

At the age of 85, Dr Rashida Ali continues to serve in academia and the industry, demonstrating an unparalleled commitment to education.

While talking to Sindhnews, Sindh Food Authority’s Director General Agha Fakhar Hussain said that the food authority had recognized contributions of Professor Dr Rashida Irtifaq by appointing her as the Honorary Senior Food Safety and Hygiene Ambassador, a position that reflects her expertise and dedication to the field.

The appointment of Dr Rashida Irtifaq will not only acknowledge her achievements but will also provide an opportunity to raise awareness among university students about the principles of health preservation related to food consumption.

In the event, Dr Rashida Irtifaq will also be presented with a shield by the Sindh Food Authority as a token of appreciation for her outstanding contributions, says Agha Fakhar.

The Sindh Food Authority was established in April 2018 under the SFA Act 2016 and the Authority has been established Under Section-3 (1) of the Act ibid with the mandate to provide safe, hygienic and health food to the people of Sindh, he adds.

The Authority is performing its functions accordingly as per the Sindh Food Authority Act 2016 but the major hurdle is the lack of awareness among general masses and food handlers at large, regarding the food safety and hygiene principles.

The authority’s mandate to provide safe, healthy and hygienic food to the people of Sindh can not only be achieved witht eh coercive measures but it requires general awareness campaign among the masses and food handlers and the issue demands the participation of all segments of the society, the DG concluded.

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