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August 27, 2019

‘CM must tell PA how govt is tackling diseases’

Karachi

August 27, 2019

An opposition legislator in the provincial assembly demanded on Monday that the Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah come to the House and take the concerned lawmakers into confidence about the steps he has taken to overcome the alarming situation of increase in the cases of contagious diseases in Karachi, including malaria and the Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.

The demand was raised by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Khurrum Sher Zaman while speaking on a point of order during the proceedings of the PA. The opposition legislator said the health situation of the city has become alarming with the rise in the cases of malaria and Congo fever. Zaman said that the situation had drastically deteriorated after the recent spells of monsoon rains and the sacrificing of animals on Eidul Azha.

Responding to the point of order, Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho said that a fumigation drive to kill mosquitoes has been launched across the city, and with the passage of time the pace of the campaign will be expedited.

Information Minister Saeed Ghani sought permission from PA Speaker Agha Siraj Khan Durrani to respond to the point of order of the PTI MPA in the absence of the CM and the local government minister, but the speaker said he would allow the provincial minister to speak on the issue later during the proceedings of the House.

Lawlessness

Speaking on a calling-attention notice, the PTI’s Haleem Adil Sheikh also sought a response from the CM regarding the increase in the incidents of lawlessness across the city despite the provincial government once more assuming the controlling authority of the police force after the PA passed the Police Act.

The calling-attention notice of the opposition lawmaker pertained to the rise in criminal activities in the jurisdiction of the SITE Superhighway police station that falls in the constituency of the MPA.

The legislator said the police officers posted in the area have been involved in extorting money. “How long will we be made to carry the dead bodies of the people of our constituency?”

He complained that District Malir of Karachi has been without a senior superintendent of police (SSP), as if the police have failed to find a suitable replacement for the notorious former Malir SSP Rao Anwaar.

Responding to the calling-attention notice, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla said that instead of speaking on his notice, the opposition lawmaker had delivered a political speech. He said the Sindh police chief has been issued directives to ensure the safety of the locals, as there is no alternative to human life.

Inauguration

Responding to a calling-attention notice of MPA Syed Hashim Raza, Dr Azra said they have been facing difficulties in getting recognition of the Pakistan Medical & Dental Council for the newly established medical colleges in the province.

The calling-attention notice was moved in the House regarding the delay in the inauguration of the new medical college in the Landhi neighbourhood of the city. The minister said the issue is not confined to Karachi but pertains to new medical colleges all over the province.

Meanwhile, the government bill No. 17 of 2019 — the Sindh Advisers (Appointments, Powers, Functions, Salaries, Allowances and Privileges Amendment) Bill 2019 — was introduced in the House.

Withholding tax

Earlier, speaking during the question hour of the session, Excise & Taxation Minister Chawla said the provincial government has written to the federal administration against the latter’s decision to levy Rs38,000 withholding tax on two-wheelers, as implementation of such a decision will cause hardships to the masses.

The minister said that motorcycles are being used by the ordinary citizens, which is why a lifetime tax is collected from the owners of two-wheelers.

Chawla said that new registration number plates for motor vehicles are not being issued because the contract for making them has come to an end. He said that the making of new registration number plates for vehicles will start after Muharram. He also said that some 70,000 new registration number plates are being kept in the storerooms of the excise & taxation department as they are yet to be collected by the owners of the new vehicles.

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