KARACHI: After some minor amendments to the Police Order 2002 in the light of the observation made by Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, the Sindh cabinet on Wednesday accorded approval to present it in the provincial assembly on Thursday for its adoption. By one of the amendments, the home minister’s proposed powers of transferring investigation have been withdrawn from the law.
The cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah here at the New Sindh Secretariat, also approved the Sindh Bank’s request to subscribe to Term Finance Certificate (TFC) of Rs3.7 billion as it was facing a shortfall in capital to the tune of Rs14.7bn due to various factors, including an increase in non-performing loans, deficit in valuation of the investment portfolio and an increase in the capital requirement by the State Bank of Pakistan.
By another decision the cabinet also allowed the merger of Sindh Leasing Company Ltd with a capital of Rs3.5bn.
Sindh Bank stopped from further lending
The meeting, which was attended by Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, all the provincial ministers, advisers and special assistants and secretaries concerned, had a lengthy agenda for consideration but except for the Sindh (Repeal of the Police Act, 1861 and Revival of Police Order 2002) Bill, 2019; capital shortfall in Sindh Bank, appointment of CEO/president of Sindh Bank, amendment to the Sindh Regularisation of Teachers Appointed on Contract Basis Act, 2018 and Resource Mobilisation Plan 2019-20, most of the items were deferred to the next meeting.
They include the constitution of the Sindh Minimum Wage Board, constitution of the governing body of SESSI, conversion/utilisation of amenity plots for the mass transit projects undertaken by the Sindh government, amendment to The Establishment of the Office of Ombudsman for the Province of Sindh Act 1991, appointment of an administrator in town committee, Shadi Palli, Umerkot district, constitution of a provincial advisory council for empowerment of persons with disabilities.
The additional items taken up with the permission of the chief minister included rationalisation in the monthly OZT share of the 1,526 union councils and union committees.
Police Order 2002
The chief minister told the cabinet that Governor Imran Ismail had called upon the provincial assembly to reconsider the bill to achieve its objective of having an independent police force for the province.
The cabinet extensively discussed the observation recorded by the governor and made some minor amendments to the bill. Adviser to Chief Minister on Law Murtaza Wahab briefed the cabinet on the discussion the cabinet sub-committee had made with the police, civil society, the petitioners and their lawyer.
The new law had been reframed and rephrased in consultation with the relevant stakeholders. The home minister’s proposed powers of transferring investigation have been withdrawn from the law.
The cabinet was told that the IGP’s tenure had been strengthened. The IGP would transfer/post district police officer and DIG in consultation with the chief minister.
The cabinet approved the law referred back by the governor and also accorded approval to present it in the provincial assembly on Thursday.
The Sindh cabinet approved a 62-member provincial advisory council for empowerment of persons with disabilities. It is a Sindh-level consultative and advisory body for issues related to persons with disabilities (PWDs) and would facilitate the continuous evaluation of a comprehensive policy for the empowerment of PWDs for full enjoyment of their rights. Its chairman will be minister of department of empowerment of persons with disabilities while the vice-chairman will be secretary to the department. Four MPAs have also been inducted into the advisory council.
Sindh Bank capital shortfall
The Sindh cabinet was told that the Sindh Bank Ltd was facing a shortfall in capital to the tune of Rs14.7bn due to a combination of various factors, including an increase in non-performing loans, deficit in valuation of the investment portfolio and also due to an increase in the capital requirements by SBP.
The SBP has also conveyed the same matter to the finance department. The cabinet members said that the bank was performing well but due to some issues the Sindh Bank was faced with a capital shortfall, therefore it must be supported.
The Sindh Bank requested the cabinet that the Sindh government may finance the Term Finance Certificate (TFC) of Rs3.7bn. The cabinet approved the request.
The cabinet also approved the merger of Sindh Leasing Company Ltd with a capital of Rs3.5bn. The board of the leasing company has already approved the merger.
The Sindh cabinet decided to impose a ban on further lending by the Sindh Bank. The Sindh Bank has also been directed to present its detailed financial plan in the cabinet in September.
The cabinet also decided to appoint president/CEO of the Sindh Bank and the recommended names would be sent to the SBP for its approval.
Amendment to teachers’ bill
The Sindh cabinet discussed an amendment to the Sindh Regularisation of Teachers Appointed on Contract Basis bill. The cabinet was told that the act in its original form catered to regularisation of the teachers appointed in 2014. An amendment to the act was imminent to make room for regularisation of the services of those Sindh University and NTS-qualified contractual teachers who were appointed in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
The cabinet approved the amendment.
Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2019