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KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly on Tuesday called for proper utilisation of the royalty given by the federal government to the provincial government for carrying out development works in oil- and gas-producing districts of Sindh.

The demand was made in a resolution tabled by the parliamentary party leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional, Nand Kumar Goklani. After a brief discussion, when put to vote by Deputy Speaker Syeda Shehla Raza, the resolution was adopted unanimously.

“Proper utilisation of production bonus as per concession agreement for the development of areas from where the oil and gas is extracted,” reads the resolution.

Mr Goklani said Sindh was the largest oil- and gas-producing province and its oil and gas fields were located in remote and underdeveloped areas.

The house passes bills to set up two more private universities

He said the local community continued to live in the primitive age because the royalty and taxes received by the province in shape of direct state transfer for carrying out social development for the benefit of the area people were not being utilised properly.

He said that despite a nine-member committee comprising three MNAs and six MPAs from the areas producing oil and gas, the deputy commissioner concerned was using all funds without convening the meeting during the last four years.

He urged the government to ensure that the funds be utilised as per the concession agreement for the development of the area.

The resolution was also supported by Waryam Faqeer, Saeed Khan Nizamani of the PML-F and Syed Sardar Ahmed of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement.

Mr Ahmed said that the state transfer funds received as royalty from the federal government to Sindh ought to be transferred to the districts producing oil and gas after deducting 25-30 per cent for government use.

He said Sindh had received Rs8 billion as direct state transfer during the current year.

Resolution seeking holiday on March 20

Mr Faqir of the PML-F moved another resolution demanding the Sindh and federal governments to declare March 20, “the day of martyrdom of Saeen Sooriah Badshah”, as a public holiday.

This resolution was also carried unanimously after brief speeches by half-a-dozen legislators including Saeed Khan Nizamani, Deewan Chand Chawla, Dr Rafique Bhanban, Nand Kumar, Syed Nasir Hussain Shah and Mr Ahmed.

In their speeches, they paid rich tributes and termed the spiritual leader of the Hur Jamaat a national hero by recalling his role and struggle for the independence of the subcontinent from the British rule which led to the creation of Pakistan.

They said during the struggle Sooriah Badshah not only sacrificed his life but thousands of followers of Hur Jamaat laid down their lives.

Net-zero energy buildings

A resolution by Engineer Sabir Hussain Qaimkhani was also adopted unanimously calling for implementation of the concept of “net-zero energy buildings” in major cities of Sindh and legislation be made, if needed, to encourage energy efficient and climate-protective economic growth.

The resolution demanding establishment of the Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases at Mirpurkhas was also adopted unanimously.

Dr Zafar Kamali tabled the resolution and Nusrat Sultana of the PPP endorsed it. She also pointed out that a decision had already been taken by the chief minister in this regard.

On Tuesday, which was a private members’ day, the house was called to order at 11.35am with Ms Raza in the chair.

The Sindh Maternity Benefits’ Bill of Dr Seema Zia of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf was introduced and referred to the standing committee concerned.

The house also adopted a resolution of Saira Shaliani through which it expressed condolence with PPP lawmaker Rubina Qaimkhani on the tragic death of her only son, Hamza, in a road accident. The house also paid tributes to Ms Qaimkhani as she honoured priorities and commitments for the value of the vote in strengthening democracy in Pakistan.

Bills to set up two varsities adopted

The house also adopted private bills for setting up the Pakistan University and the Usman Institute of Technology University.

The Pakistan University, Karachi Bill 2017, which was submitted for consideration by Ghazala Sial, was adopted.

Before adoption of the bill, Mr Ahmed of the MQM and Samar Ali Khan of the PTI suggested amendment for changing its name from Pakistan to any other name but the house rejected the amendment and the bill was passed with majority.

The Usman Institute of Technology University Bill 2017, whose notice was given by Farhat Seemi, was also passed unanimously.

However, the Sindh Regulation of Marriage Functions Bill 2018, which was submitted by Saira Shaliani, was referred to the standing committee concerned.

The house was adjourned at 3 pm to meet on Wednesday at 10am.

MQM, PSP lawmakers exchange words

MQM lawmaker Mehfoozyar Khan and party defector Nadeem Razi, who now represents the Pak Sarzameen Party in the house, exchanged words with each other when the house prayed for the health of MPA Shazia Javed.

An altercation began when Mr Khan asked the prayer leader to also pray for those who betrayed their party.

Mr Razi tried to respond to Mr Khan, but the chair, Ms Raza, promptly intervened and advised them not to bring “street and mohalla fight” into the house.

Mr Goklani of the PML-F raised a privilege motion against misconduct by an assembly staffer. The motion was referred to the committee on privileges by the chair with the directive to report back by Monday.

Published in Dawn, March 7th, 2018