–CM Shah, Faisal Vawda discuss water issues
–Meets lawyers, assures them of resolving their issues
KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the provincial government had taken 23 cash development loans (CDL) amounting to Rs14.3 billion during a period of 25 years, including five years grace period.
He said this on Friday while answering the questions of MPAs on the floor of the house of the old assembly building.
The chief minister, who also holds the portfolio of minister of finance and human rights, responded to the questions asked by the members of the provincial assembly in writing. He personally rose from his desk and responded to each and every question and supplementary questions.
To a question, the chief minister said that there were 23 federal CDLs of Rs14,132 million as of June 30, 2018. He added that the interest rate varies from 7.42 per cent to 17.71 per cent per annum for a period of 25 years, including five years of grace period.
Replying to a supplementary question, CM Shah said that the last CDL was taken in 2003-4 and after that, no loan had been taken from the federal government. He also replied to another supplementary question saying that the provincial government did not take loans from commercial banks.
“Oh yes, the provincial government takes overdraft from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) when it falls short of funds,” he said and added the last overdraft was taken by the caretaker government in 2018. He also clarified that there was no outstanding borrowing from SBP from September 2016 to September 2018.
To another supplementary question, the chief minister said that the provincial government could not return entire loans because of the federal government’s policy and the conditions of the loan agreement, adding that the provincial governments regularly paid instalments of the loans it had taken in the past.
To another question, the chief minister said that everyone has the right to education. “Education is free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. It shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to strengthen the respect of human rights and fundamental freedom,” he said.
He added that the Human Rights Department has been working on ‘rights of education’ and has a close link with the education department to strengthen the mechanism of recruitment system on merit, ensure attendance of the teachers, has launched an operation against ghost teachers and is extending support on the textbook curriculum. Replying to a supplementary question, the chief minister said that the education of children’s rights was being included in the curriculum.
CM Shah said that the Human Rights Department, through its toll-free helpline 0800-00011, has received 31 complaints of human rights violation against Sindh police. 20 complaints were received in 2015, eight in 2016, one in 2017 and two in 2018. The public grievances were redressed accordingly.
Talking about human rights violation cases recorded through the print media, the chief minister said that during the last four years, 4,326 cases were registered which include 757 in 2015, 1,704 in 2016, 1,352 in 2017 and 513 in 2018. He also added that 397 cases were registered through the toll-free helpline. Their break up is 109 in 2014, 89 in 2015, 107 in 2016, 30 in 2017 and nine in 2018.
He said that during the last four years, from 2015 to 2018, some 158 complaints of human rights violations were also received and resolved accordingly. “The Human Rights Department also addresses different cases of karo-kari, rape, murder, domestic violation and acid throwing,” he said and added that he was further strengthening the department to uphold human rights.
He disclosed that literature on different topics such as human rights, rights of women, rights of orphans, responsibilities, zakat, Haqooul Allah and Hukookul Ebad, Islamic brotherhood, human community and education for women have been distributed among 4,806 pesh imams for their information and including them in their Friday sermons.
CM MEETS FAISAL VAWDA:
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah meet Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda and discussed overall water issues and the outstanding issues between the provincial and the federal governments.
The chief minister said that the K-IV project cost had increased much fold and it has reached about Rs75 billion. “Our teams are working on estimates and accurate estimates would be worked out soon to pass them from the relevant forums,” he said and added the federal government was committed to bearing 50 per cent cost of the project when it was estimated at Rs25 billion. Now it has increased, therefore the federal government must share 50 per cent expenditures, he further said.
He also said that additional water was also required for K-IV project. “Karachi is mini-Pakistan and people from all the provinces live here, therefore, the other provinces must give some water for the city,” he said.
CM MEETS LAWYERS:
CM Shah met with office bearers of Karachi High Court Bar Association and Malir Bar Association and assured them to resolve their issues. “We cannot forget your sacrifices for the restoration of democracy,” he said and added that the founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah was a leading lawyer, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was a lawyer and my father Syed Abdullah Shah was also a lawyer, therefore, I have special association with lawyers community,” he said.
High Court Bar and Malir Bar associations invited the chief minister to visit them which he accepted. The meeting was also attended by CM Advisor Barrister Murtaza Wahab and Special Assistant to CM Rashid Rabbani.