Murad happy with 5% census blocks verification

CM Sindh blames Center for growers, sugar mills owners’ dispute


Naimat Khan

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that due to wrong policies of the federal government a dispute between the growers and the sugar millers have emerged, therefore mills have refused to start crushing and the standing sugarcane crop is turning pale.

This he said while talking to media just after inaugurating two roads, Hub River and Surjani-Madinatul Hikmat Road near Hamdard University on Saturday. He was accompanied by Local Government Minister Jam Khan Shoro, Fisheries & Livestock Minister Mohammad Ali Malkani, Works& Services Minister Imdad Pitafi, MPA Saeed Ghani and secretary Local Government Ramzan Awan and others.

Replying to a question, the chief minister said that the matter of sugarcane crushing was taken up in the CCI meeting held on November 24, in Islamabad. “I told them that the problem has been created by the federal government by adopting wrong policies,” he said and added the federal government imposed ban on export of sugar in December 2016, Jan, Feb, March and April, therefore the sugar which was lying in the go downs could not be exported.

He said that Pakistan produces around eight million tons of sugar every year against which the local consumption is hardly five million. “This shows that every year we have three million tons of sugar in excesses,” he said and went on saying “had the federal government not imposed ban on export of sugar we would not have any problem of surplus stock.” He added that with the wrong polices of the federal government the mechanism of demand and supply became misbalanced and now “we are facing serious situation,” he said.

Murad Ali Shah said that in the international market there is a price difference of around Rs15, therefore the federal government has assured the provincial governments in the CCI that it would give subsidy on export of sugar for which the provincial governments would also take some financial burden.

Replying to another question, the chief minister said that the CCI meeting was informed that no sugar mill has started crushing in Punjab but nobody has started protest or dare to come onto the roads there. As a matter fact, Punjab has to start crushing from November 1. “But, in Sindh sugarcane crushing matter has been made politicized, this politicization is causing loss to the growers,” he said and added “his government was with the growers who grow their crops after an extensive hard work and investment,” he said and added the standing sugarcane crop was turning pale and their harvesting must start now.

He said that in the present situation of deadlock the federal and the provincial governments have decided to intervene for starting crushing and disposing of the sugar stocks through export. “The Sindh government in coordination with the federal government is working out a plan to give subsidy and announce sugarcane price,” he said.

Talking about Sindh Governor Zubair Ahmed, the chief minister said he is his best friend but he doesn’t know the facts. “The Green Line project has been delayed due to non-serious attitude of the federal government,” he said and added that it was a Rs16 billion project and the federal government had allocated Rs5 billion, that’s why it could not be completed in four years. “Oh yes, had it been started in Punjab it would have been completed in one year,” he said.

Replying to a question, he said that he would direct Minister Transport Syed Nasir Shah to make necessary provision for student tickets [concessional] in BRT system. “It is important and we would ensure it,” he said.

To a question, Murad Ali Shah said that he has given clear instructions to the divisional administration all over Sindh to take necessary measures to avoid reaction of operation launched against Faizabad, Islamabad sit-in. ‘We would not allow anybody to take law in his hands,” he said.

The chief minister said that he had pressed the federal government to ratify three percent census blocks to make the census credible but at that time they agreed to ratify only one percent. “In the CCI meeting [Nov 24], the federal government agreed to ratify 5 percent census blocks so that people of the country can trust it. “This is a good move and I hope ratification would make credible,” he said.

Earlier, the chief minister inaugurated two important roads, Hub River and Surjani-Madinatula Hikmat roads at their sites by unveiling their plaque in a simple ceremony.

The Hub River Road, a part of Karachi Mega project started in December 2016 has been completed within 15 months. It is a 12-km long road and constructed for Rs1.25 billion. A storm water drain spreading over 1.62 kms have also been constructed on the one side of the road.

The Surjani-Madinatual Hikmat Road has been constructed within six months with additional construction of road from Norther Byepass to Hamdard University. The cost of the project was Rs1246.16 million. It has a three lane [on each side] dual-carriage way.

The chief minister addressing the gathering said that the projects launched under Karachi Package Phase-I are at the completion stage and now “we are going to launch Phase-II from December 15.