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November 23, 2019

‘Baboos’ in Islamabad do not want to buy cheap wind power, PA told

Karachi

November 23, 2019

The Sindh Assembly was informed on Friday that utilisation of wind resource abundantly available in the province would ensure production of cheap electricity in the country but the “Baboos” (bureaucrats) sitting in Islamabad were not interested in purchasing such inexpensive power.

Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh said this while answering the written and oral queries of lawmakers during the question hour of the House.

He informed the legislature that the federal government had recently signed agreements for 12 wind power projects in Sindh due to the efforts of Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah. He claimed that intervention by the World Bank president had led to the approval granted by the federal government to the 12 projects.

Sheikh said the Centre had not been involving the provinces in the energy-related affairs. He told the House that the provincial government had prepared a plan to utilise solar energy to energise offices and homes in Sindh as soon implementation on the project would start, under which around 200,000 rural households in off-grid areas of the province would be supplied electricity through solar power with the assistance of World Bank.

The Sindh government would also establish a 50-megawatt solar park in the province, Sheikh said. He also urged Leader of the Opposition Firdous Shamim Naqvi, whose party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, has been ruling in the Centre, to help the provincial government ensure cheap electricity for the residents of Sindh.

Responding to a question by Grand Democratic Alliance legislator Arif Mustafa Jatoi, the energy minister said nine sugar mills in the province were producing electricity, which they used themselves and their surplus power was fed to the national grid under the system of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority.

The energy minister also congratulated the people of Sindh on a licence recently awarded by Nepra to the Sindh Transmission and Dispatch Company.

Charity regulation

The House unanimously passed the Sindh Charity and Regulation Bill 2019. The bill was earlier introduced on November 1.

The house passed the bill in the light of a report of its standing committee on law, parliamentary affairs and human Rights that had duly considered the draft of the bill. The bill is aimed at registering and regulating the functioning of charity organisations in the province, especially their financial affairs, in accordance with recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force so that the funds available with the charities could not be used for terror financing.

Once enacted after the governor’s assent, the law will make it binding upon all the charitable organisations to register themselves while people who would provide funds to them would be required to declare their sources of income.

The bill also envisages a Sindh charity commission and a charity registration authority. The new law will also make it incumbent upon the charitable organisations to maintain a detailed record of their financial affairs. It also prohibits the charities from using their funds for securing commercial or political interests.

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