KARACHI: Rejecting a Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah’s claim that the federal government had reduced Sindh’s due funds, Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Firdous Shamim Naqvi said on Sunday that the province got “31 per cent” extra funds from Islamabad.
“The Sindh government is receiving greater money than its share from the federal government,” he said while addressing a press conference at the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf office in the city.
He said the impression created by the Sindh government that the funds of the province had been slashed by the federal government had no truth.
Says PA will soon be declared sub-jail for Sindh cabinet
“The federal government has allocated much funds for Sindh and other provinces and similar has been promised by the federation to all provinces,” Mr Naqvi said.
He said the chief minister’s post-budget press conference that lasted for around three hours had many things, which were either based on assumptions or on lies and sheer imagination.
Mr Naqvi, who is also a provincial leader of the PTI that leads the federal government, was against the chief minister’s demand with the Centre about delegating collection of sales tax to the provinces.
The opposition leader claimed that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the founder of the Pakistan Peoples Party which rules Sindh, had himself decided that sales tax collection would remain a federal subject. “Have you got any answer to this?”
He used harsh words while speaking about the chief minister as he said he [the CM] was feeling the life hard after arrest of “two of his partners”.
He said that the Sindh Assembly “will soon be declared a sub-jail as action against those involved in graft practices has intensified”.
“May be,” said the opposition leader, “the Sindh cabinet find a permanent abode there”.
He was referring to an earlier development in which the provincial government had declared Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani’s chamber in the assembly building a sub-jail.
He said more such rooms [like the speaker’s chamber] were being prepared for the guests who would soon arrive.
“My prime minister has already warned that no one who has looted the country will be spared. So, for that matter, we will not compromise on the interest of the country and the nation,” said the PTI leader.
He asked the chief minister “to be honest else, I will be targeting you like this”.
He said the government had many tactics to mint ill-gotten money, which included delaying public interest projects.
PTI lawmaker Bilal Ghaffar said the government had failed to introduce reforms in police for more than a decade, which was why paramilitary Rangers had been performing in the province.
Similarly, he said, the provincial government’s claims about giving thousands of buses to Karachi had failed to materialise.
Mr Naqvi said the provincial government should return the funds to the federal government if it did not want to have the money. He claimed that a large amount of funds had been given to Sindh from grants offered by Islamabad.
Published in Dawn, June 17th, 2019