Sunday May 19, 2024

Sindh cabinet approves human rights policy

By Our Correspondent
August 03, 2023

A meeting of the Sindh cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday approved the Sindh Human Rights Policy 2023 for a period of five years to ensure the protection and promotion of human rights of various marginalised sections of society such as women, children, differently-abled persons, labourers and minorities.

The policy approved by the cabinet sets a range of targets in various sectors such as introduction of human rights degree programmes at the university level, taking proactive measures to protect places of worship belonging to minorities, bringing reforms in the curriculum to promote tolerance and discouraging hate speech against the religious minorities.

The policy also sets a target to address defects in the criminal justice system and police service, and develop a robust system for provision of free legal aid to vulnerable communities. The policy also tasks the government with devising an action plan to curb anti-women practices such as forced marriages and honour killings.

Surendar Valasai, special assistant to the Sindh chief minister on human rights, termed the approval of the policy a vivid example of the Pakistan Peoples Party’s commitment towards human rights.

Waterlogging issue

The cabinet was told that in order to resolve the waterlogging issue along the Hyderabad-Mirpurkhas Dual Carriageway (HMDC) in the Tando Jam area and provide relief to the residents of the affected area, the provincial government was envisaging developing a storm water drain, sewerage line and water drainage system that would be built on both sides of the road.

The cabinet approved the project with an estimated cost of Rs1 billion to resolve the waterlogging issue.

Sales tax exemption

The Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) informed the cabinet meeting that the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) had informed them that it has been entrusted with the execution of the Greater Karachi Bulk Water Supply Scheme, K-IV Project, Phase-I.

Initially, the project was to be executed by the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB), and conditional exemption of Sindh Sales Tax was provided to then executing agency, which was the KWSB.

The Wapda authorities had requested the SRB to exempt them from the sales tax as well, the cabinet was told. To this, the chief minister approved the extension of the Sindh Sales Tax saying that the project was of utmost importance for the city. The project is likely to be completed by October 2024 for Rs 126.404 billion, including the expenditure of Rs14.67 billion already incurred by the Sindh government.