KARACHI: The provincial cabinet, after thorough discussion and deliberations, on Thursday decided to launch a joint, well-planned, and decisive operation cleanup against dacoits in katcha areas of the province in which the police of Punjab and Balochistan, Rangers, and Pak Army would participate.
The cabinet authorized the Inspector General of Police Ghulam Nabi Memon to coordinate with his counterparts of Balochistan and Punjab so that an operation could be planned in the katcha areas for which an amount of Rs2.79 billion was approved for the procurement of sophisticated Military-Grade Field and surveillance weapons.
The meeting was presided over by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah here at CM House on Thursday. Provincial ministers, advisors, special assistants, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, Chairman P&D Hassan Naqvi, PSCM Fayaz Jatoi, and other concerned secretaries and offers attended the meeting. Procurement of field weapons: The Home department and Inspector General of Police briefing the cabinet said that a joint operation in the katcha area of Sindh, Balochistan, and Punjab has been planned as per government decision for which procurement of sophisticated field weapons and surveillance equipment would be required.
The IGP said that the matter for the purchase of Military Grade Weapons and Surveillance Systems was discussed in the 28th Provincial Apex Committee meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Sindh on 5th January 2023. The meeting had approved the proposal. The IGP told the cabinet that the weapons and surveillance system was required to control hardened criminals/gangs, operating in the Katcha area of District Kashmore, Shikarpur, and Ghotki, equipped with sophisticated weapons.
The cabinet was told that funds amounting to Rs. 2,796.184 million were required for the procurement of sophisticated/military-grade weapons to start a joint operation in which the police of three provinces, Sindh, Balochistan, and Punjab would launch the operation with the support of Rangers and Pak Army. The cabinet approved the proposal of the operation and also sanctioned the amount of Rs2.7 billion and directed the Home department to seek NOC from the Ministry of Interior for the purchase of the said weapons.
Upgradation of IT-related cadres: The Finance dept told the cabinet that the government has already upgraded 3871 IT-related posts and still 3,264 posts from grade BPS-5 to BS-16 were left over. The computer operators/lab attendants, Hardware, and other posts have been upgraded. The annual financial impact of the upgradation of the 3,264 IT-related posts on pay amounts to Rs.243.706/- million. The cabinet approved the upgradation.
Coronavirus fund closed: The provincial cabinet was told that the Coronavirus Emergency Fund was created on March 18, 2020, under the chief secretary with the secretary finance, secretary health, Dr. Abdul Bari, Faisal Edhi, and Mushtaq Chhapra as its members. Right from the creation of the fund, 17 meetings were held.
During the period from March 18, 2020, to March 3, 2023, Rs. 3,312.93 million was donated from government entities, which includes Rs. 1,300 million transferred from the Sindh Social Relief Fund, Rs. 1,495 million, and Rs. 517.19 million donated through salaries deductions of Sindh govt Employees. Further, Rs.254.701 million was also donated from private entities and individuals. Foreign Donations received in CEF amount to Rs. 16.522 million including Rs. 16.268 million received through a Non-Profit Organization, M/s. I-Care Foundation, whereas Rs. 114.95 million was earned through profit on the saving account of CEF.
The CEF Committee has already recommended the closure of the Coronavirus Emergency Fund after clearing all financial and legal formalities. The cabinet decided to close the fund and the fund balance amounting to Rs. 35,734,486 would be spent on the construction of houses for the flood-affected people. DHQ Dadu given to LUMHS: The provincial cabinet on the proposal of the health dept decided to hand over District Headquarters (DHQ) Dadu to Liaquat University of Medical & Health Sciences (LUMHS), Jamshoro along with administrative and financial control and SNE.
The cabinet directed the health department to ensure the provision of health facilities to the people of the area properly. The cabinet approved the release of funds amounting to Rs1.2 billion to the hospital so that it could start properly functioning.
In order to implement price control during the holy month of Ramazan, 2023, the Sindh Essential Commodities Price Control and Prevention of Profiteering and Hoarding Act, 2005 the cabinet approved the conferment of powers of Inspector Prices to Bureau of Supply & Prices officers throughout the province. The officers given powers to control price, include Director General on the Sindh level, Additional Commissioner-I, and II (Divisional level), Director, BSP, (Provincial level), Deputy Directors, BSP, Sindh (Divisional level), Assistant Directors, BSP, Sindh (District level), Deputy Director /Additional Director Agriculture Extension. AFCs. DFCs Food Department, Assistant Director /DD Labour Department.
The district administration has already been given the powers and instructions to control the prices. The cabinet approved some appointments such as Minister Energy Imtiaz Shaikh as Chairman Sindh Petroleum (Pvt) Ltd, a body part of the Energy dept, Minister Irrigation as Chairman Sindh Irrigation & Drainage Authority, Iqbal Detho as Chairman Sindh Human Rights Commission and granted an extension to Niaz Soomro, as Project Director Malir Expressway till the completion of the project. The cabinet also decided to appoint Aijaz Khanzada and Mohammad Arif Mithani as members of Drug Courts.