KARACHI: The Sindh cabinet has urged Prime Minister Imran Khan to convene the meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) to discuss outstanding issues of the provincial government.
The demand was made through a resolution adopted in the cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah here on Wednesday.
The meeting recalled that the CCI, according to Article 154 of the Constitution, shall meet at least once in 90 days but it was not convened for the past 11 months.
Murad orders police to rid the city of drug peddlers, smugglers; BRTS fare structure approved
Energy Minister Imtiaz Shaikh pointed out that the federal government was reluctant to approve the alternative energy projects of Sindh and was creating problems in this regard.
The chief minister said he would take up these issues at the upcoming meeting of the CCI.
The cabinet also approved Rs350.24 million as grant-in-aid for the Sindh Rescue and Medical service, a fleet of 60 Aman ambulances, in Karachi till December.
The cabinet in its over four-hour-long deliberations also approved a fare structure for all Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) lines by fixing minimum Rs15 up to two kilometres and maximum Rs55 from 16km and above.
The fare structure was prepared by a transport department consultant for negotiation to attract investment deals.
According to the fare structure the fare up to two km would be Rs15; Rs20 for two to four km; Rs25 for four to six km; Rs30 for six to eight km; Rs35 for eight to 10km; Rs40 for from 10 to 12km; Rs45 for 12 to 14km; Rs50 for 14 to 16km and maximum fare up to 16km and above is set at Rs55.
Issue price of wheat
The food department through a presentation told the cabinet that last year issue price of wheat was Rs3,250 per bag of 100kg in PP bag and Rs3,315 in jute bag.
At present, the price of wheat in the open market of Karachi is Rs4,200 to Rs4,250 per 100kg.
The cabinet approved issue price of wheat at Rs3,450 per 100kg bag. Punjab has fixed issue price at 3,437.50 per 100kg bag.
Rules for Amal Umer Act approved
The cabinet approved rules and regulations of the Sindh Injured Person Compulsory Medical Treatment (Amal Umer) Act 2019.
Under the rules and regulations of the act, the cost or payment incurred on the person provided emergency medical treatment would be borne by the health department.
The cabinet approved the rules and directed the finance department to move a summary for creating a special fund for the persons receiving emergency medical treatment.
Quota for transgender persons
The home department told the cabinet that the inspector general of police (IGP) had submitted a proposal regarding fixation of 0.5 per cent quota in respect of transgender persons for recruitment in the Sindh police.
The chief minister said that rehabilitation of transgender persons was one of the priorities of his government.
“We have to bring them in mainstream by offering them jobs in government department,” he said and approved a proposal of allocating a 0.5pc quota not only in the police department but in all government departments.
He directed the social welfare department to take necessary measure to incline transgender persons towards education, technical training and the mainstream.
IGP claims street crimes decreased in city
IGP Dr Kaleem Imam and Karachi police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon briefed the cabinet about the overall law and order situation, particularly street crimes, in the city.
Comparing the crime rate of 2019 with what it was in 2013, they said that no terrorism incident had taken place in the city during the current financial year, with 97pc reduction in targeted killing and 76pc reduction in extortion cases.
The cabinet was told that a “commendable” reduction had been recorded in snatching of cars, motorbikes and mobile phones compared to 2013.
There is 78pc decrease in four-wheeler snatching; 73pc in two-wheelers and 29pc decrease in mobile phone snatching compared to 2013, 2014 and 2015, the cabinet was told.
To a question, the chief minister was told that 317 gangs of street criminals had been busted while 621 criminals arrested and 690 FIRs had been registered against them. Around 440 proclaimed offenders and 3,530 absconders had also been arrested during 2019.
The provincial and city police chiefs counted large number of drug addicts on streets, no proper rehabilitation mechanism and ownership, poverty, illiteracy, inflation, unemployment, mass urbanisation, disgruntled youth and illegal immigrants as the causes of street crimes in the city.
Talking about factors hampering police performance, the IGP said that non-registration of cases was top on the list.
He told the cabinet that 1,063 complainants were approached by police in three weeks but hardly 14 of them had agreed to get their FIRs lodged. The other factors as stated by the IGP were a liberal bail policy, lack of central database of criminals, hideouts of criminals in 162 slum areas of the city and lack of safe city projects.
Alarming surge in ‘ice’
The cabinet was told that in 2018 only 0.73 points of ‘ice’ drug were recovered while in 2019 its recovery had been recorded at 132.756 points. (A point is about a tenth of a gram).
“This shows either the drug peddlers have pumped ice drug in the city in a huge quantity this year or it was allowed unchecked in the city last year,” the CM said, adding that it was unacceptable and the police must clean the city of drug peddlers and smugglers.
“We can’t leave our children at the mercy of drug peddlers,” he said.
In 2018, the cabinet was told, 219.8kg of heroin was recovered while in 2019 its seizure reached to 1,107.4kg.
In 2018, over 436,602 packets of gutka/mawa and mainpuri were seized while in 2019 its recovery had been recorded at 4.034 million packets.
The cabinet directed the IGP to launch a vigorous and ruthless operation against drug peddlers and smugglers in the city.
Published in Dawn, October 24th, 2019