Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has directed the divisional commissioners to scrutinise the domiciles and permanent residence certificates issued in all the districts of the province during the last three years, and submit a report to him within 60 days so that a decision against the misuse of domiciles/PRCs could be taken accordingly and the fraudulent practice could be stopped.
Presiding over the provincial cabinet meeting at the CM House on Tuesday, he directed the chief secretary to fix responsibility as to which officials were involved in issuing fake domiciles and permanent residency certificates so that exemplary punishments could be awarded to them.
The cabinet raised the issue of misuse of Sindh’s domicile/PRC by non-residents for obtaining admissions to educational institutes and getting government jobs, both of federal and provincial governments, against the quota reserved for the residents of the province.
In May last year, the chief minister had constituted a committee under the Senior Member Board of Revenue in May 2020 to probe into the alleged misuse of domiciles/PRCs. The committee probed the process of issuing these important documents in four districts -- Larkana, Kashmore-Kandhkot, Ghotki and Jamshoro -- and submitted a report.
According to the report, 423 cases of domicile/PRCs were examined, of them 154 were declared suspicious in four districts on various grounds. The additional chief secretary of the home department, Qazi Shahid Pervez, told the cabinet that the deputy commissioners had delegated the responsibility of issuing domiciles and PRCs to the additional deputy commissioners and assistant commissioners. It was pointed out that a private company was tasked with doing the important work of domiciles/PRCs without adequate checks and balances.
The conditions of furnishing important documents like an affidavit were not executed properly and many were found defective. Most of the required documents as ‘proof of residence’ were not attested/verified.
The chief minister said the domicile certificate was wrongly used as a proof for permanent residence at a particular place. He added that under the Pakistan Citizenship Act, 1951, a domicile was the certificate of citizenship of Pakistan and did not limit it to any province or a particular place. He said the PRC was a document of residence in a particular area.
Shah, with the approval of the cabinet, constituted a committee to review the rules of issuing domiciles and PRCs and suggest amendments. The committee comprises Revenue Minister Makhdoom Mahboob, Irrigation Minister Jam Khan Shoro, Law Adviser Murtaza Wahab and the senior member of the Board of Revenue.
The chief minister directed all the divisional commissioners to conduct a detailed scrutiny of the domiciles/PRCs issued in their districts during the last three years and submit a report. He also told the IT department to develop a database of the domiciles/PRCs.
School clustering policy
The school education department presented a “school clustering policy” under which a group of geographically neighbouring interconnected schools working in a certain area and characterised by common activities would be clustered.
Education Minister Syed Sardar Ali Shah said that in Sindh the schools were widespread in different categories such as primary, middle, elementary, high and higher secondary schools.
Most of the primary schools in rural areas are vulnerable, isolated two-room and one-teacher schools. He added that there was a need for a mechanism to strengthen these isolated schools through clustering. Each cluster will have one main school called Hub School, and remaining schools will be grouped with the hub of the cluster.
The policy is originally aimed at effectively addressing issues of isolation of rural schools due to large distances, the non-availability of teachers, inadequate resources and non-availability of
opportunities of professional development.
The cabinet approved the proposal and the CM directed the education department to work out a detailed survey of the children presently out of school and take measures to bring them back to school.
The Sindh cabinet approved a law to establish the Sindh Manzil-e-Sukoon Authority with the objective of establishing, managing and regulating model cemeteries or graveyards and crematoriums.
Law Adviser Murtaza Wahab said there were innumerable historical and public graveyards in the province where many famous saints, poets, politicians, intellectuals, freedom fighters and deceased people from amongst the local population in millions had been resting for centuries.
He added that these historical graveyards were looked after by various departments, the local government at the UC level, communities, societies and other similar agencies.
According to Wahab, the majority of public graveyards had been running out of space
and were present in the most neglected state and deplorable conditions. There are 203 graveyards in Karachi, of them 184 are for Muslims and 19 for non-Muslims.
Wahab said that 90 graveyards were under the control of the local governments, and 106 are managed by societies such as DHA, PQA, CAA and steel mills. He added that seven were under the control of cantonment boards and burials were banned at six graveyards due to lack of space.
The CM said that according to a study, the death ratio in Pakistan was 6.89 per 1,000. The estimated requirement for graves per year is 10,000 to 12,000. He added that more or less the same requirement could be assumed in other parts of the province.
It was pointed out that the graveyards had been trespassed by a large number of unauthorised persons and innumerable structures had been constructed on graveyards’ land. Keeping in view all these conditions and situations, the cabinet approved the draft of the Sindh Manzil-e-Sukoon Authority Bill-2021 and referred it to the Sindh Assembly.
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