Karachi, February 27, 2019 (PPI-OT): The Sindh cabinet which met here for the second time in a week on Wednesday decided to export five million tons of wheat through open sale, established Provincial Grid Company to construct more than 792 Kv grid stations of renewable plants, approved the bill of Abdul Majid Bhurgari Institute for Language Engineering. However, it seemed to be reluctant to start procurement of wheat for crop 2018-19.
The meeting was held under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah here at New Secretariat. The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, all provincial ministers, advisors, special assistants and other concerned officers.
In the start of the meeting the chief minister presented a resolution to condemn violation of Pakistan’s air space by Indian air force. The resolution reads as “This cabinet condemns the violation of Pakistani air space by the Indian air force and termed it as a brazen violation of international law. The cabinet also rejects the false and malicious propaganda of India against Pakistan and has resolved that the government and the people of Sindh stand united against any possible India aggression. The cabinet also appreciates the well rounded and measured response of Pakistan armed forces against claims and remains committed to defend our great country along with the Armed Forces.
Reservation on procurement: The food department requested the cabinet to set new procurement target of wheat for crop 2018-19, however it proposed a target of 500,000 tons. The department had procured 1.4 MMT wheat during the last crop at a rate of Rs13,00 per 40 kg (Rs3250 per 100 kg). To a question of the chief minister the department told the cabinet that there was net 800,000 tons of wheat surplus with food department which 360,000 tons of last year crop.
The chief minister in consultation with the cabinet members decided to export 500,000 tons of wheat through `Open House Sale’. A committee was constituted under Minister Food Hari Ram and secretaries of finance and secretary as its members with the task to talk to the exporters and facilitate them to export 500,000 tons of wheat.
Most of the cabinet members opposed fresh procurement drive saying that it [procurement] has never given any benefit to the small growers. The purpose of the procurement was to stabilise wheat prices in the market, to encourage small growers and develop some stocks in the food department to intervene in case any emergency or shortage of wheat.
The cabinet members said that as a matter of fact the small growers have never taken benefit out of government procurement drive. The government was earning bad name despite spending millions of rupees on wheat procurement and top of this the food owned Rs100 billion debt of commercial banks. Therefore, the cabinet members opposed the new procurement and said `let the market decide the new rates’. The cabinet decided to talk to exporters first for export of wheat and then the next cabinet meeting would decide procurement target.
Provincial Grid Company: The energy department presented an item in the cabinet with the request to approve establishment of Provincial Grid Company so that four grid stations of 792 Kv of renewable energy could be constructed. Minister Energy Imtiaz Shaikh and Secretary Energy Musaddiq briefing the cabinet said that Sindh has already established Sindh Transmission and Dispatch Company (STDC) for evacuation of 100 MW electricity from Sindh Nooriabad Power Company to KE with 95 km long transmission line.
The professional team of STDC has the capacity and capability to operate as provincial grid company. The Provincial Grid Company which would be a part of STDC would construct five projects. They are 220 kV Nooriabad Grid Station and Associated Transmission Lines for wind power projects. 220 Kv Jhimpir Grid Station and associated transmission for wind power projects. 220 kV Gharo Grid Station and transmission line for wind power projects. Two 132 kV Grid Station and 132kv transmission line of around 25 km in KWSB K-IV project to supply to pumping stations- I and II. It would provide Battery Storage System (BSS) in all the above grid stations to over the intermittency problem in Renewable Energy Systems.
AMBILE Established: Education and Culture Minister Sardar Shah told the cabinet that with a view to provide for development and advancement of Sindhi language engineering and to bring Sindhi Language at par with National and international languages, it is expedient to establish Institute of Abdul Majid Bhurgari Institute for Language Engineering (AMBILE). Abdul Majid Bhurgari is the founder of computing in Sindhi language. His work from 1987-88 enabled the use of Sindhi language on personal computers and revolutionized the Sindhi printing and publishing industry.
The minister culture told the cabinet that building to house AMBILE has been constructed in Hyderabad. Now time has come to functionalize it by making necessary legislation for development of Sindhi language to cater the modern day challenges. He added that the institute would have the facility to converted old printed Sindhi books into word form to reprint them. In this way all the old and precious books would be reprinted.
The cabinet approved the bill and referred it to the assembly. Cancellation of MOU with NICVD: The health department presented an agenda with the request to the cabinet to cancel the MoU between Health department and NICVD Karachi so that the management of cardio vascular units established by Sindh government in its hospitals and other medical institutions could be taken over.
These units or hospitals include Civil Hospital Mithi, Civil Hospital Khairpur, Lyari General Hospital, LUMHS Hyderabad, Syed Abdullah Shah Institute Sehwan, Chandka Medical University and Faryal Talpur Cardiac Surgery Complex Larkana, Coronary Cardiac Unit, Tando Mohammad Khan, PMC Hospital Nawabshah, Worker Welfare Fund Hospital, Sukkur. The cabinet was told that the Sindh government has passed an Act `Sindh Institute of Cardio Vascular Diseases (SICVD) – 2018, therefore newly created health facilities of cardio vascular Diseases have become the part of SICVD.
The chief minister said that the provincial government has filed a review in the Supreme Court to take back all the three institutions, NICVD, JPMC and NICH returned to federal government. At this stage cancellation of MoU between the NICVD and health department may affect the case. Therefore, he constituted a committee under him with minister health, Advisor law, Advocate general Sindh, secretary law and secretary health to review the legal position. In case the cancellation of MoU was necessary then it would be deemed as cancelled.
SRB: The Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) proposed to levy Sindh Sales Tax on Services Health and Life Insurance, Cable Operators and on contractors and construction services. The chief minister said that at present the overall financial position of the people of the province were not stable. Therefore, these proposals may be placed in the cabinet next time so that these levies could be imposed from the next financial year.
The cabinet also approved Sindh Public Finance Administration Act 2019 under which more financial powers have been devolved with a certain quality to the field and administrative officers. The cabinet after necessary discussion approved recruitment rules of Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), Sindh. The cabinet appointed Advocate Manzoor Hussain Larik as secretary Board of Governors of Law colleges affiliated with Shah Abdul Latif University Khairpur.
For more information, contact:
Chief Minister House, Sindh
Tel: +92-21-99202019(Ext: 336)