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The Tharparkar district council chairman has written a letter to Sindh chief minister in which he has complained that the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) was not honouring its commitment to provide jobs and create employment opportunities for the people of Tharparkar.

The letter, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, requests Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to ensure that SECMC follows its commitments and devises a policy to recruit qualified local people. It points out that only 28 of the 221 managers employed by the company were locals.

District council chairman Dr Ghulam Haider also alleges that the locals employed by the company were paid much less than those hired from other areas of the country.

"Of these 28, only three are permanent employees while the rest are working on a contractual basis," the letter reads. It further claims that of the 60 people recruited under the Khushaal Thar programme, no one belongs to Thar.

Read: Economy vs environment: Thar coal and a test of Pakistan's priorities

Rubbishing SECMC claims that 77 per cent of the employees were local Tharis, the letter mentions that most of the locals employed at the mining plant were either labourers, daily wagers or those working with a Chinese company.

The letter was based on a resolution along the same lines passed by the district council in December 2017.

Responding to the complaints, SECMC spokesperson Mohsin Babbar claimed that some local politicians were trying to pressurise the company to get candidates, who do not meet the merit requirements, employed at the project.

"Merit policy will continue to be strictly followed and no pressure will be accepted at the cost of hiring meritorious Thari youth," he asserted.

"Of the 2,433 employees hired in management and non-management cadre in last 20 months for the projects related to Thar coal Block II, 75 per cent belong to the district of Tharparkar, 19pc belong to other districts of Sindh while 6 per cent are from other provinces of Pakistan," said the SECMC spokesperson.

Furthermore, Babbar claimed that the non-availability of trained human resource was not considered a barrier by the company as special training programmes were launched to capacitate and recruit locals.