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February 5, 2020

Sindh cabinet to purchase 37pc wheat production of every district


February 5, 2020

KARACHI: The Sindh cabinet has decided to offer substantial support price of wheat to growers and purchase 37 percent crop from districts growing the crop so the farmers could be supported equally. The support price, however, would only be announced once the federal government announces its new wheat price.

The cabinet meeting was held under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah at the New Sindh Secretariat. All cabinet members, advisers and Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah attended the meeting. The Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, told the cabinet that during the current financial year, the federal government has to transfer Rs835 billion. According to that in the first seven months, the Centre has provided Rs359 billion instead of Rs487 billion, showing a shortfall of Rs128 billion.

Taking up the wheat procurement plan, the chief minister said that the prices of wheat inputs have increased manifold, therefore, its support price must also be increased accordingly. Approving the proposal, the cabinet suggested doing so after the federal government announces its revised support price. CM Shah suggested procuring 37 percent of the total wheat crop from every district, so the benefit of increased price could be passed on to all the growers in every district. The cabinet has already fixed the wheat procurement target at 1.4 MMTs. It allocated an additional sum of Rs15.4 billion to the earlier allocated Rs38 billion, totaling Rs53.4 billion for the unhindered acquisition of the important commodity.

The cabinet also approved enhancing the amount of medical reimbursement bills of the provincial government employees from Rs300,000 to Rs3 million. The secretary of the relevant department has been authorized to reimburse the bills of up to Rs1 million. The bills over and above Rs 1 million and up to Rs2 million would be approved by the chief secretary, while those above Rs2 million would be sent to the chief minister for approval.

The cabinet was informed by Minister Health Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho that 300 Chinese nationals had arrived at the Jinnah Terminal of Karachi Airport on Monday-Tuesday night. The Chinese authorities and the Sindh health department doctors allowed them to enter Karachi after first thoroughly checking them. Dr Pechuho told the cabinet that isolation wards were set up in major hospitals of Karachi.

Meanwhile, the Sindh cabinet approved the posthumous promotion of Shaheed Aijz making him DIG Prison, Grade BS-20, under the Shaheed Recognition Act. Aijaz Hussain, a BS 19 officer of the Prison Department, was martyred by a proscribed organization in 2015.

Meanwhile, the cabinet approved the amendment in the Stamp Act, 1899 giving legal cover to electronically generated stamps [e-stamps] and other documents. The chief minister said that the Board of Revenue, Sindh, collected Rs9.9 billion during 2018-19 and for 2019-20, it was given a target of Rs15 billion. He said with the e-stamps, the revenue should increase manifold. The electronically generated documents would have no need of signature and would have a bar code which would be verified by scanning it. It was referred to the provincial assembly for passage.

The cabinet also gave the go-ahead to purchase and provide furniture to schools having a shortage or no furniture at all from the education department's repair and maintenance budget. The chief minister said that since there were over 45,000 schools in the province, the repairs must continue throughout the year.

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