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December 12, 2019

No truth in reports about KWSB’s privatisation, Saeed Ghani tells PA

Karachi

December 12, 2019

Sindh’s information minister told the provincial assembly on Wednesday that there is no truth in the reports doing the rounds in the media and among concerned quarters that the Karachi Water & Sewerage Board (KWSB) will be privatised following the revamp of its system under a World Bank financial assistance programme.

Saeed Ghani was responding to a calling-attention notice on the issue by Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal MPA Syed Abdul Rasheed. The minister said Sindh’s ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has always been against the idea of privatising public institutions.

Ghani reiterated that there is no truth in any of the reports about the KWSB’s privatization, saying that proposals are being floated instead to reform the water utility. He suspects that certain officers associated with the KWSB have become worried due to the process of reforms introduced in the water utility. Also speaking on the occasion, Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government Saleem Baloch opposed any plan to privatise the KWSB.

Public schools

MPA Shah Nawaz Jadoon of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf presented his calling-attention notice on the plight of the public schools in his constituency, pleading that the provincial government should have some mercy on the educational institutions in his area.

Jadoon said the public schools in his constituency lack furniture, forcing the students to sit on the floor. “If someone wants to see how education is imparted, they should go to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and see how the schools there are being run.”

Culture Minister Syed Sardar Ali Shah, a former education minister, said that though it is a fact that five million children in Sindh are out of school, one should also consider that there are 12.5 million out-of-school children in the neighbouring Punjab.

Shah said the provincial government will support the opposition lawmakers in their drive to improve the status of public schools, adding that the legislators should point out the schools that need to be improved.

He assured the PA that the provincial government will regularise the services of government schoolteachers who have passed the recruitment test conducted by the National Testing Service (NTS).

He made the assurance on a calling-attention notice by Grand Democratic Alliance MPA Nusrat Bano Sehar Abbasi on the issue of NTS-pass public schoolteachers who have been demanding regularisation of their services and who recently faced baton charge by the police when their rally tried to move towards a red zone in Karachi. She said teachers had been holding protests in support of their legitimate rights, lamenting that they had been baton charged by the police and then locked up.

Responding to the notice, Shah said teachers have to face police action if they violate the law and attempt to move into a red zone. He said they accept the right of the teachers to protest but it should remain within the ambit of the law.

The minister said public schoolteachers had been recruited on merit for the first time during the PPP’s rule in the province, adding that they had already regularised 16,800 schoolteachers while a policy would be formulated to also regularise the services of NTS-pass teachers.

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