Sindh cabinet decides to start wheat procurement from Feb 15

F.P. Report

KARACHI: The provincial cabinet of Sindh has decided to start wheat procurement from March 15 at a rate of Rs. 4,000 per 40 kg, approved Rs 58.7 billion for relief work, enhanced the scope of the Rapid Response Force and created Crowd management unit to respond during violent public disorder.

The cabinet was held under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah here at CM House and was attended by provincial ministers, advisors, special assistants, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, Chairman P&D Hassan Naqvi, PSCM Fayaz Jatoi, and other officers concerned. CM Advisor on Law Murtaza Wahab briefed the media about the cabinet decisions.

At the outset, the cabinet condemned the terrorist attack in Peshawar that claimed over 82 innocent lives and vowed to “eradicate terrorists and their facilitators from our ranks” and also expressed solidarity with the people of Türkiye where southern areas have been hit by a deadly earthquake. The cabinet appreciated the chief minister’s visit to Peshawar where he visited the blast site and the hospital to give consolation to the injured.

The cabinet also endorsed the CM’s announcement of Rs one million compensation each for the families of the martyrs in the blast and Rs. 500,000 for the injured. The cabinet also decided to dispatch 100,000 blankets to Türkiye for quake-hit people.

The general administration department told the cabinet that during the floods and unprecedented rains, Rs 58.7 billion were released, including Rs27,648.452 million for relief and rehabilitation, Rs8,390 million for a subsidy to farmers on Rabi Crop 2022-23, Rs1000 million for provision of fodder, Rs14,150.3 million for the repair of Irrigation works, Rs3,628.63 million for the survey or damages and related works, Rs3925.952 million for KMC and DMCs to repair bus routes and other works and Rs985.405 million for medicines purchase. The chief minister directed the Advisor Agriculture to coordinate with the federal government that has been provided Rs8.39 billion for a subsidy to farmers on rabi crops for timely distribution through BISP.

The cabinet approved the amount of Rs25.036 billion released/to be released onward for relief and rehabilitation. The cabinet took up the issue of recent recruitments in the police department wherein there were some complaints of fake domicile. Shah said that the recruitment was made purely on merit only for locals.

The chief minister directed the chief secretary to get all the domiciles of newly recruited in the police department verified so that genuine candidates could be hired. The cabinet was told that the Inspector General Police has sent a summary for the expansion of the Rapid Response Force (RRF) and the establishment of the Crowd Management Unit (CMU).

The Rapid Response Force (RRF) is an anti-terrorist and anti-dacoits force operating throughout Sindh, established in 2009. The RRF, in addition to core responsibilities, provides security to vital Installations such as Oil Refineries, the Supreme Court & High Court at Karachi, the CM House, the Assembly Building, Security of VVIPs & Cricket Teams, important Religious, political, or Social gatherings. The CM was informed that the expansion of RRF to the entire province will enable district police or other LEAs to respond quickly in case of an emergency.

The CMU is required to respond professionally during a violent public disorder. To prevent loss of lives and damage to property, to manage the unruly crowd, and to maintain law & order. The CM directed the Home dept that new positions should be created by re-appropriating positions of Sindh Reserve Police (SRP) to avoid financial implications for the expansion of RRF.

He decided that the SRP would be limited only to the provision of general security to Sindh House Islamabad under the separate administrative control of SSU and also approved the expansion of the Rapid Response Force (RRF) throughout Sindh. The cabinet after thorough discussions and deliberations approved the Karachi Water & Sewerage Corporation Bill, 2022 with the responsibility of planning & execution of bulk production, supply, and distribution of potable water; engaging PPP or CBO/ NGO or autonomous body through the PPP Node of KWSB, determine the quantity of water to be supplied to each autonomous and constituent body or person(s) and issuance of licenses for providing water and sewerage services complying all standards.

The corporation will have a board and the Chairperson of the Board shall be the Mayor of KMC, and in his absence Administrator KMC will be the chairman. It would have seven Ex-officio and nine non-official members (Academia, Civil Society, Water & Sewerage Specialists, Legal & Financial Experts) and two MPAs from Sindh Assembly.

The corporation Board Shall develop and approve strategic plans for water delivery; approve the budget. The Corporation shall be managed by a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) appointed by the Board of KWSC for a period of four years. It would also have a Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Internal Audit Officer, and Chief IT Officer.

The cabinet referred the bill to the assembly. The cabinet was told that it had allotted 75 acres of land to the Hyderabad Press Club in Deh Ganjo Takar, Taluka Latifabad. The cabinet approved a grant of Rs14,970,120 for the club to complete its documentation process. The Provincial Cabinet decided to grant a higher grade on the basis of Time-Scale for only isolated/non-promotional posts. The criteria for the award of the Time Scale would be given to the employees after attaining the age of 05,12,19 & 27 years of satisfactory service. It would be given only one stage above the present pay scale. These employees of Grade BS-1 would go into BPS-2 and after 12 years in grade BS-3, after 19 years in grade BS-4, and after 27 years to BS-5. In this way, the employees of such categories from grades BS-1 to BS-15 would get the time scale. The health department presented a policy of selection criteria for Admission in the B.S Nursing (Generic-04 years) Degree Program-2022 for Private Sector Colleges.

Under the policy, as approved by the cabinet, the local/residents of the province would be given admission on a priority basis, and the seats that remain vacant would be filled on open merit (other than Sindh). The selection criteria and quota for private institutions/colleges in B.S Nursing would be for women, minorities, and those with disabilities as 15 percent, 5 percent, and 5 percent respectively. The qualifying education will remain as F.Sc (pre-medical) marks percentage will be 50 percent as per eligibility as approved by Pakistan Nursing Council.

The cabinet decided that wheat procurement for the new crop would be started from February 15 at Rs4000 per 40 kg. The target for procurement would be set in the next cabinet meeting.

The provincial cabinet approved the appointment of former chief secretary Mohammad Siddique Memon and retired PCS officer Raheem Soomro as Members (Technical) Provincial Local Government Commission. (APP)