Says 1200 cusecs additional demand for water still not met by federation despite rapid population increase
Vows for refund of ‘unconstitutional’ deductions by FBR
KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah directed the chief secretary on Thursday to write a letter to the Council of Common Interest’s (CCI) secretariat for including all the pending issues including that of water required by province on the agenda of forthcoming CCI meeting.
He made the orders while presiding over pre-39th CCI meeting on Thursday
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, Energy and Irrigation secretaries and other concerned officers.
“The current domestic consumption which currently stands at 12.75 gallons per capita per day is anticipated to drop further in the next coming years mainly attributable to the city’s high population growth,” he said, adding that keeping in view the present demand and future strategy Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (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.
Irrigation Secretary 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 then president. “This 1200 cusecs water has been included in the allocation of Sindh province mentioned at Para-2 of water Accord 1991, but the additional requirement of 1200 cusecs water for the city has not been included in the share of the province,” he said.
The chief minister said that various issues of the provincial government are pending at the CCI including amendment in petroleum exploration and production policy 2012, ‘unconstitutional and unauthorised’ 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.
The matter of deduction by FBR from PCF also extensively came under discussion.
It was pointed out 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 overall deduction comes to Rs7,054.734 million which was an unauthorised 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 CM directed his team to prepare the case for each and every pending issue so that he could take up them effectively in the CCI meeting.