By Muhram Hussain
KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the budget for next financial year, 2020-21 will be coronavirus impact-oriented, therefore, a new strategy had been worked out under which priorities would be given to the health services, employment generation, social security, and innovation in education sector.
This he said while presiding over a meeting to set a strategy for the next budget, 2020-21. The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, CM Coordinators Haris, Chairman P&D Mohammad Waseem and his team, Secretary Finance Hassan Naqvi and his team and other concerned.
The chief minister said that the coronavirus emergency indicators such as increase in expenditures, decrease in the government revenues, decline in exports, unemployment and loss of purchasing power were horrible and needed to be addressed with a new strategy.
He told his finance and planning & development team that the first and top priority would be given to strengthen health systems under which COVID-19 emergency hospitals would be established. “We are already establishing Coronavirus Emergency Center at NIPA and similar facilities would be developed at all the divisional headquarters,” he said. He added that all the other hospitals would be equipped with necessary gadgets.
Talking about employment generation, Shah said that Small, Medium Enterprises (SMEs) was hardest hit by the COVID-19 crises, herefore, he added that SMEs were in need of small loans, subsidies, and such other concessions to sustain. Shah said that soft loans to be given to SMEs, apart from giving them other concessions and subsidies. He added that short term loans would be up to Rs Rs500,000 to small business and Rs2 million to medium enterprises.