Sindh looks towards Islamabad for resolving issue of acute water shortage in Karachi
KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah presiding over pre-39thCCI meeting on Thursday directed the chief secretary to write a letter to the CCI secretariat for including all the pending issues of the province on the agenda of forthcoming CCI meeting.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Excise & Taxation Mukesh Kumwar Chawla, Minister for Energy Imtiaz Shaikh, Chief Secretary Major (R) Azam Suleman, Principal secretary Sohail Rajput, provincial secretaries, Energy, Irrigation, U&B and other concerned officers.
The chief minister said that various issues of the provincial government were pending in the CCI. They were amendment in petroleum exploration & production policy 2012, unconstitutional and unauthorized deduction by Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) from the provincial consolidated fund (PCF), allocation of 1200 cusecs additional water for Karachi city (K-IV) project, implementation of Article 154 of the Constitution, matters pertaining to higher education and other similar bodies in post-eighteenth amendment scenario, to further enhance the representation of provinces in the federal HEC and import of LNG gas.
The chief minister said that still he has not received the agenda of the CCI meeting scheduled to be held on Wednesday, 12th September under the chairmanship of the prime minister. Therefore, he directed the chief secretary to send a written request to the CCI secretariat to include all the pending issues of the provincial government on the agenda of the CCI meeting. “Most of the issues are important and need urgent attention to resolve them in the supreme interest of people of Sindh,” he said.
Murad Ali Shah said that Karachi was facing acute water shortage and this megalopolis city [of Karachi] is mini-Pakistan because people from all over the country live here. “The current domestic consumption which currently stands at 12.75 gallon per capita per day is anticipated to drop further in the next coming years mainly attributable to city’s high population growth,” he said and added that keeping in view the present demand and future strategy KWSB has worked out additional demand of 1200 cusecs to 2400 cusecs. He further said that the Irrigation department approached Indus River System Authority (IRSA) twice to allocate 1200 cusecs additional drinking water for Karachi in addition to the provision of water accord 1991.
Secretary irrigation Jamal Shah told the chief minister that IRSA has regretted the request and replied that any additional requirement of water supply to Karachi has to be met by Sindh out of its existing allocated share as no water outside the accord is available for further distribution. At this the chief minister said that prior to water accord 1991, 1200 cusecs of water was sanctioned for Karachi on August 10, 1988 by the President. “This 1200 cusecs water has been included in allocation of Sindh province mentioned at Para-2 of water Accord 1991, but additional requirement of 1200 cusecs water for the city has not been included in the share of the province,” he said.
The matter of deduction by FBR from PCF also extensively came under discussion. It was pointed that the FBR had deducted Rs633.119 million in 2012-13, Rs6,127.115 million in 2015-16 and Rs294.5 million in 2016-17. The chief minister said that over all deduction comes to Rs7,054.734 million and it was unauthorized and unconstitutional deduction. “This amount belongs to people of Sindh and it will be refunded,” he said and added that apart from taking it up in the CCI meeting the matter must be raised with Ministry of Finance.
The Chief Minister directed his team to prepare case for each and every pending issue so that he could take up them effectively in the CCI meeting.