KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly was on Friday informed that the provincial government had identified 25 places in Karachi to hold fair price bazaars with the advent of Ramazan.
“The Sindh cabinet has discussed it in its recent meeting and decided to [organise] such marketplaces across the city,” said Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani while responding to an issue vis-à-vis price hike raised by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Khurram Sher Zaman.
The PTI’s lawmaker demanded that the Sindh government ensure affordable prices of edible items during Ramazan as their rates had already been made unaffordable for the common man.
The minister said the issue had been discussed threadbare during the cabinet’s meeting, which was followed by a meeting presided over by the agriculture, supply and prices minister Ismail Rahu in which a contingency plan had been devised.
He said initially around 25 places across the city were being identified where such bazaars would be established by the city administration.
“These bazaars would offer edible items and other things at fair prices and will bring a great relief for the people who are already stressed with the huge inflation and price hike because of the federal government’s policies,” he said.
He added that the project would offer some cushion to those people who had gravely been affected because of the demolition of their shops during the anti-encroachment campaign launched a few months ago.
‘The govt is screening people in high-risk zones for AIDS but cannot screen whole population of Sindh’
“We’ll offer stalls and smaller shops preferably to the shopkeepers who are affectees of that anti-encroachment campaign so that they could earn livelihood for their families in a respectable manner.”
He said those bazaars would last for around 100 days — from the first day of Ramazan to Eidul Azha — during which people and vendors would both get benefit from the facility.
Grand Democratic Alliance’s Nusrat Sehar Abbasi raised the issue of the demands of nursing staff during their protest for the past many days. She condemned the police’s high-handedness on the protesting nurses, which left a number of protesters wounded on Thursday.
She said the basic issue behind the protest by the nursing staffers belonging to government-run health facilities was related to service structure and promotions.
PTI’s Saeed Ahmed said the protest had also affected the government’s plan regarding the current heatwave relief camps. He claimed the police action had left two female nurses wounded.
LG Minister Ghani said he had met the representatives of the protesters lately in which the two sides agreed to sort out some of the issues.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s Mohammad Hussain said procurement of furniture for the government-run schools in the provincial capital was halted since 2012 and students in the schools, which were functional, had to sit on the bare floor.
He asked the government to take immediate notice of the issue, as no meeting of the procurement committee was being held for years and their funds were getting lapsed.
GDA’s Nand Kumar said the revenue staff across the province was on strike for their demands, which had seriously hit the revenue matters in Sindh.
Pakistan Peoples Party’s Zulfiqar Shah said relief camps should also be set up in prisons of Sindh because of the sizzling heat.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Chawla said the government would try to make available facilities to protect prisoners from the sizzling weather.
‘Govt can’t screen whole Sindh for AIDS’
PTI’s parliamentary leader Haleem Adil Shaikh said the incidence of HIV/AIDS had alarmingly increased in Hyderabad district for which the health department should take measures.
He demanded that an emergency should be declared in the province to tackle the deadly disease keeping in view a current incident in which several children were infected with HIV because of a doctor.
Health Minister Azra Pechuho said apart from Larkana no other part in Sindh had returned any report where a quack or a doctor had caused AIDS.
She said the individual who was responsible for inflicting HIV in 15 children was a qualified doctor yet his practices were dangerous where he used a single syringe to ruin innocent lives.
However, she said reports from Hyderabad suggested HIV spread because of use of shared knives in certain clinics.
She said teams were busy in screening people wherever it was required, but it was not possible to screen the entire population of Sindh for the disease. “We are screening people or communities in the high-risk zones and cannot screen the whole population of the province.”
Nusrat Abbasi, Sadia Jawed and Abdul Rasheed moved separate resolutions on the World Press Freedom Day.
In their speeches, they eulogised journalist community for their part in disseminating information to the people in adverse situations and expressed their concern over the working conditions which were getting worse in the country.
Published in Dawn, May 4th, 2019