KARACHI: The chief minister informed the Sindh cabinet on Wednesday that the prime minister’s office had approached him with a request to send it two more names in addition to the earlier panel of three officers for appointment of a new inspector general of police in Sindh.

He took the cabinet into confidence when he said he had sent the names of Sanaullah Abbasi and Inam Ghani as well to Islamabad.

Earlier, he had sent a panel of three officers — Ghulam Qadir Thebo, Mushtaq Mahar and Kamran Fazal.

“Now, the establishment division has a panel of five officers of which they would choose and post one of them as new IGP Sindh within the next two days,” said CM Shah while presiding over the cabinet meeting at New Sindh Secretariat.

All cabinet members, the chief secretary and other relevant officers attended the meeting.

Cabinet decides to procure 1.4 million tonnes of wheat

Information Minister Saeed Ghani, who later briefed reporters on the decisions of the cabinet meeting, said the cabinet observed that the IG had “committed character assassination of provincial ministers which was quite deplorable”.

The meeting also observed that a DIG issued a displeasure letter to an SSP and when the IG opted to work against the provincial government, the same DIG issued an appreciation letter to the same SSP, said Mr Ghani.

The information minister disclosed that the provincial government would inform the federal government that the incumbent IG was not fit for holding the top position in police anywhere in Pakistan.

Wheat procurement

The cabinet decided to procure 1.4 million tonnes of wheat for the 2019-20 crop and constituted a cabinet committee to evolve a procurement mechanism to ensure procurement from genuine growers, particularly the small ones.

“The cabinet has made many important decisions which include approval of the Home-based Workers’ Rules, 2019,” said Mr Ghani.

Food Minister Hari Ram Kishorilal and the ministry’s secretary Laiq Ahmed briefed the participants on the stock position and requested the cabinet to set a procurement target and support price for the 2019-20 crop.

The cabinet was informed that some 400,000 tonnes of wheat had been procured from the Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (Passco).

The cabinet was informed that the food ministry owed Rs77 billion to commercial banks, of which it had retired Rs13bn. It would retire Rs8bn by the end of March.

The cabinet was told it had a credit limit of Rs138bn for the procurement of new crop. The chief minister directed the food ministry to work out a detailed plan that could help it retire its total loan it had borrowed for procurements.

The federal government has fixed a minimum price of Rs1,365 per 40kg for procurement of wheat from Passco. The chief minister assigned the task to his the cabinet committee comprising Food Minister Hari Ram Kishorilal, Agriculture Minister Ismail Rahu and Local Government Minister Nasir Shah to suggest the minimum wheat price for procurement of new crop and also propose ways of procurement so that growers could be offered better prices. The committee would submit its report within the next 10 days.

Master plan authority

Local Government Minister Nasir Shah and Secretary Roshan Shaikh proposed establishing the Sindh Urban and Regional Master Plan Authority which would be custodian of the master plan of Karachi and other cities of the province and make master plans for the cities which did not have one yet.

The minister told the cabinet the draft bill for the Sindh Urban and Regional Master Plan Authority had been prepared and sent to the law department for vetting. The new authority would function separately as an autonomous body.

The cabinet approved the establishment of the authority and directed the LG officials to present draft rules in the next meeting.

Transport Minister Awais Shah and Secretary Abbas Thebo presented an amendment to the Motor Vehicle Ordinance, 1965 for operation of online public transport/taxis and installation of tracker in motorcycles to stop stealing.

The transport ministry suggested 10 amendments to the ordinance which included a fitness certificate, route permit, Online Dispatch Platform Company, use of vehicle only with the permission and such other sections to ensure proper check, quality of vehicles and services and security of passengers.

The cabinet observed that in new motorcycles the manufacturers would install trackers but in the older ones installation could be expensive.

The cabinet constituted a committee of ministers for excise, labour and transport to review it and submit recommendations in the next cabinet meeting.

Child labour

Saeed Ghani, who also holds the portfolio of labour, and Secretary Rasheed Solangi presented the draft Sindh Prohibition of Employment of Children’s Rules, 2018. They told the meeting The Sindh Prohibition of Employment of Children Act, 2017 had been passed by the assembly and its rules were required to implement the law in letter and spirit.

The Sindh Home-based Workers’ Rules 2019 have been framed in the light of the Act, 2018. The rules have 19 clauses under which an eight-member council has been constituted with the labour secretary as its chairman.

The council shall identify and classify Home-based workers (self-employed, piece-rate, contractual); trade to which home-based workers are engaged; classification of service provider and identification of workplace of home-based workers. The council would develop the data electronically and keep an eye on their security.

The wage of the workers would be determined through the Minimum Wage Board. The cabinet approved the rules.

The Sindh Hazardous Occupation (Silicon) Rules 2018 have been framed under different acts. The draft rules have 15 clauses such as definitions, declaration of operation as hazardous, material testing, sampling prohibition of children employment, medical certification and examination, exhaust draughts, washing facilities, protective clothing of workers and protection measures have been defined. The cabinet approved the rules.

The adviser to CM on law, Murtaza Wahab, told the cabinet the amendment the cabinet and the assembly had passed in The Establishment of the Office of the Ombudsman had been returned by the Sindh governor with some observations.

Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2020