Karachi, July 05, 2017 (PPI-OT):Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that after repealing the NAB law [the Sindh jurisdiction] the provincial government is going to restructure and strengthen the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) through legislation under which the provincial assembly, treasury members and the opposition, would be empowered to appoint its chairman. He said this while responding to the questions of the participants of the post-budget conference organized by a media group here at a local hotel today. He was accompanied by Information minister Syed Nasir Shah and senior bureaucrats of the provincial government.
He said that the NAB was created by a dictator [Gen Musharraf] and he had given it a constitutional cover by including it into the 6th Schedule to avoid amendment into it. “Under 18th Constitutional Amendment the 6th schedule was omitted, therefore the NAB law could be amended,” he said and added “since the anti-corruption is the provincial subject, therefore the Sindh government using its constitutional right has repealed the NAB law [Sindh Section] and is going to enact for creation of an autonomous anti-corruption body to serve as watch and ward on public spending in the province.
Questioning the performance of NAB, the chief minister said that they [NAB] had arrested a chief engineer and a Superintendent Engineer of irrigation department for lining canals and had put them in Sukkur Jail for three months. The judge who granted them bail had written in his judgement that the irrigation officers were arrested under malafide intentions.
“The DG NAB Sukkur has occupied a bungalow of Irrigation department at Barrage Colony Sukkur and latter got it forcibly allotted. Through a scheme of Irrigation Department, he has spent Rs45million of provincial government on its repair and renovation,” he said and added two more bungalows of Irrigation Department at Barrage Colony, one by Assistant Director NAB and other one by NAB judge have been occupied and got them allotted forcibly.
They have also got their bungalow renovation for Rs1.5 million. One bungalow of Works department at GOR Colony Hyderabad and a vehicle of Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority (SIDA) is under the use of assistant director NAB and other NAB officer posted at Hyderabad. “This is what they are doing with Sindh,” he said.
The chief minister also said that the harassment of Sindh government officers by NAB is one of the factors behind less utilization of development funds in Sindh. Giving constitutional history, Syed Murad Ali Shah said that the entire constitutional structure of the country is based on Indian Act of 1935. In the constitution of 1956 the measures to combat corruption was placed in the concurrent list while in the constitution of 1973 it has been made a provincial subject. In Article 248 it has been clearly said that no minister is responsible to any court of law in exercise of his powers.
The chief minister said that under the NAB law, in violation of the constitution, the federal and the provincial cabinet members and the parliamentarian like civil servants have been declared as public office holders. This was done by General Musharraf with the intention to harass the politicians and parliamentarians.
“Why people did not make hue and cry when the federally imposed Local Bodies Ordinance and Police Order were repealed and re-enacted by the provincial governments,” he question and said “just it is being politicized to defame the Sindh government, otherwise we have used our constitutional power,” he said.
He deplored that Sindh Governor has linked repealing of NAB law as an attempt to separate Sindh from the federation. “I am quite surprised on his views. He has constitutional role and he should limit himself with that limits instead of indulging issuing irresponsible political statements,” he said. He questioned why he did not raise his voice or same question when Punjab Chief Minister had warned NAB authorities for crossing their limits.
Replying to a question about National Captive Power Projects (NCPP) , the chief minister said that they have already been established in different six districts of the province with a capacity of 120 MW. They are not functional because there is a dispute of tariff between their companies and the NEPRA.
“The federal government does not support Sindh because the electricity to be generated by them (NCPP) would be used locally means where they are installed. Had the power generated by NCPP was loaded in the national grid the federal government would have solved the issue much earlier. “This is why we have decided to pay the differential tariff amount which may cost over to Rs1 billion to Sindh government to reduce load-shedding in some districts,” he said and added it was purely aimed at giving relief to the people of Sindh.
BUDGET 2017-18: Earlier, the chief minister discussing the budget 2017-18 said that it is over Rs1 trillion which is something to be pride of. “The provincial government has two sources for making budget- the federal transfer from divisible pool and the provincial resources,” he said.
The federal government at the beginning of 2016-17 had committed to provide Rs593 billion and then curtailing Rs13 billion committed Rs480 billion. By the end of financial year, 2016-17 they provided only Rs440 billion which showed a shortfall of Rs54 billion. The provincial government has achieved all its targets. The SRB recovered Rs78 billion and for the current financial year it has been given a target of Rs100 billion.
He said that the development budget of the province has been approved at Rs344 billion which include Rs244 billion provincial ADP and Rs30 billion District ADP. “I have given special focus to the development of the province and personally monitoring uplift works,” he said and added that the recent heavy rains developed some cracks in the roads constructed in the city are being fixed again by the same contractor fort which funds would not be paid. “Believe me we have selected good contractors and are ensuring quality work this is why no accumulation of rain water was reported on Shahrah-e-Faisal because it has been given storm water drain on its both side,” he said.
Talking about education sector he said that it has been given top priority by giving Rs202.2 billion budget with 24 percent growth. Health sector which is most important has also been given Rs100.32 billion budget which 25.2 percent more budget than last year. “We have also given special grants to leading hospitals like JPMC for caner wards, NICVD, SUIT and others,” he said.
Law and Order has been allocated Rs90.586 billion which is 10 percent higher than the budget of last year. “We give a substantial security amount and compensation in case of martyrdom to Rangers also,” he said. The participants appreciated the efforts and energy of the chief minister.
For more information, contact:
Chief Minister House, Sindh
Tel: +92-21-99202019 (Ext: 336)