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Sindh cabinet approves taking up census issue in parliament

Karachi

April 14, 2021

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah presided over an hours-long meeting of the provincial cabinet on Tuesday. The meeting discussed and took decisions on around two dozen agenda items, including taking up the census issue in parliament and the procurement of 250 diesel-electric hybrid buses for an intra-district operation.

They also decided to devolve the solid waste management board to divisional level, withdraw the condition of presenting Form VII to sell wheat to the food department, and file an appeal against the high court’s decision declaring regularisation of law and other officers of grades BS-16 and 17 illegal. The meeting started at 10am and concluded at 5pm. It was attended by provincial ministers, advisers, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Ali Shah and the other relevant secretaries.

Census issue

The CM told the cabinet that he had attended the Council of Common Interests (CCI) meeting in which the 2017 census was approved despite his dissenting vote. He said he had told the prime minister that all the four provinces had serious reservations over the census results, so it should be conducted again.

‚ÄúSince its inception, the CCI has been taking decisions with consensus, but this was the first decision that was taken with a dissenting vote,‚ÄĚ he said, adding that in such a situation, he had to take up the matter in parliament. The cabinet approved the CM‚Äôs decision.

Hybrid buses

Transport Minister Awais Qadir Shah said his department has planned to purchase 250 diesel-electric hybrid buses under the Sindh Intra-District People Bus Service project. He said these buses will operate in Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Larkana, Mirpurkhas and Shaheed Benazirabad.

He also said his department has hired a professional consultant, adding that the project will cost Rs8 billion. The cabinet approved the proposal and gave the go-ahead to procure the buses. The CM said he will provide the necessary funds, terming the project a good news for the people of the six districts.

Solid waste

Local Government Minister Nasir Shah presented a draft of the Sindh Solid Waste Management Act 2021, which envisages creating a solid waste management board in each divisional headquarters of the province, with each board being headed by the commissioner concerned and the mayor as its member.

The board would also have a managing director to fulfil the functions of the board. The cabinet approved the proposal and referred the matter to the provincial assembly.

Wheat procurement

Food Minister Hari Ram and Secretary Haleem Shaikh said they had started wheat procurement on April 1. The minister said over 60 per cent of the crop has been harvested in the lower Sindh districts, but 6,333.85 MT has so far been procured.

He said the policy guidelines for wheat procurement were causing delays, so he proposed waiving off the condition of producing agriculture pass book (Form VII). He added that the waiver would attract the growers to get Bardana from the food department’s procurement centres.

He also said the provincial government is offering an attractive price of Rs2,000 a maund, so the growers are not only very happy but also inclined to sell their harvest to the government. The cabinet approved the proposal and waived off the condition of producing Form-VII to get Bardana, and also allowed the food department to purchase an additional 2,600 bales of PP bags.

Appeal in SC

The CM said the high court has declared the appointment of around 1,400 employees of grades BS-16 and 17 of the law department and some others illegal. He added that these employees were appointed without being referred to the Sindh Public Service

Commission. He said these employees were appointed in 2008. The cabinet approved the proposal to file an appeal in the Supreme Court against the decision of the high court.