On 29th, December, 2016, CRM (Child Rights Movement) Sindh & SPARC, in collaboration with Social Welfare Department, Women Development Department and Labor Development (Sindh); inaugurated a Study Launch titled “Child Specific Resource Allocation in Sindh Budget” (2015-16 & 2016-17). The event was held at a local hotel in Karachi.
The report reveals that Rs. 200 Million allocated by Sindh Government during the budget for fiscal year 2015-16 under Child Protection Authority Act 2011, through Social Welfare Department, was not utilized by the end of Dec-2016. This was revealed by Mr. Zahid Thebo, Coordinator, Child Rights Movement Sindh during the Launch of Study Report at a local hotel today.
Mr Thebo shared that the total budget outlay of the Sindh Government for fiscal year 2016-2017 is estimated at PKR 869.1 billion, as compared to the budget estimate of PKR 739.3 billion for fiscal year 2015–2016. The estimates include the provincial Annual Development Plan (ADP) earmarked at PKR 225 billion for 2016 – 2017, showing an overall increase of 38.9% from the allocation of PKR 162 billion in 2015-2016.
The ADP budget allocations to the relevant departments shows an average growth rate of 35.88% in the budget allocation in the fiscal year 2016–2017. An average growth of 13.58% in the overall allocation of ADP budget to child specific schemes in the below-mentioned departments was also observed.
Speaking at the occasion Mr. Kashif Bajeer, Regional Head, SPARC said that The total ADP allocation for the Education & Literacy Department in 2016-2017 is PKR 17.2 billion, as compared to PKR 10 billion allocated in 2015-2016, showing an overall increase of 72.3%. However, the percentage of allocation from the ADP budget to child specific schemes by the Education and Literacy Department has fallen from 60.48% in 2015-16 to 40.05% in 2016-17.
The total ADP allocation for the Social Welfare Department in 2016-2017 is PKR 290 million, as compared to PKR 200 million allocated in 2015-2016, showing an overall increase of 45%. The percentage of allocation from the ADP budget to child specific schemes has fallen from 58.02% in 2015-16 to 54.48% in 2016-17.
Addressing the event, Ms. Soorath Thebo, Member of the Provincial Assembly Sindh, appreciated the efforts of SPARC to bring about the detail of Budget utilization of Sindh Government, specific to Child Specific Schemes. She said that Sindh Government is not willing to spend the budget on the Protection and Promotion of Child Rights in Sindh. She said that Rs 200 Million allocated in the budget under Child Protection Authority Act 2011 is still unutilized, which shows the unwillingness of the government regarding taking concrete measures to address children’s rights.
Speaking to the occasion Secretary Social Welfare Department MS. Sheeren Mustafa appreciated the efforts of SPARC and CRM-Sindh for launching a concrete report regarding budget utilization and inadequate spending of the Government of Sindh on Child Specific resources. She agreed that the budgetary spending of the government was very low, compared to the designated budget under the Annual Development Plan.
She said that Social Welfare department is in process to adopt the Rules for Child Protection Authority Act 2011 soon for year 2017. She further added that the Government of Sindh has established Child Protection Units in almost 15 districts of Sindh, which will be soon setup across all district of the province.
Speaking to the audience, Secretary Labour Mr. Abdul Rasheed Solangi said that Labour Department Sindh is in process to conduct the Child Labour Survey, which will probably be conducted in year 2017. It is worth mentioning here that this survey has not been conducted for the past 20 years.
He further said that the Sindh Government has been working to eradicate Child Labour from Sindh. He said; “we have successfully established the District Jamshoro is a Child Labour free model district in Sindh”. He further added that Labour Department Sindh and SPARC are jointly working together to eradicate child labour in Sindh by running awareness campaigns using various mechanisms, such as by organizing rallies and seminars to create awareness and to mobilize the general public and parents; so that they may substitute child labor for education, to give a brighter future for their children.
Speaking at the Seminar, SSP-City Karachi Mr. Faizullah Korejo appreciated SPARC’s efforts and emphasized the need to increase the coordination among Civil Society Police and Government established Cells such as; Child Protection Units, Human Rights Cells, and Child Rights Desks.
He further emphasized that establishment of CPU’s in all districts of Sindh is very important to safeguard the children from street danger, especially those children who are on streets and out school children.
SPARC Executive Director Ms Sadia Hussain shared some recommendations at the study launch. She recommended that The Social Welfare Department should; adopt the rules of business of the Child Protection Authority for its true implementation in Sindh, and establish Child Rights Units in all 29 districts of Sindh along with budgetary allocation and Utilization.