Provincial assembly asks centre to exempt Sindh growers from payment of last year’s loans

Published March 6, 2021
Agriculture minister says 20 Sindh districts were declared calamity hit after last year’s unprecedented heavy rains. — AFP/File
Agriculture minister says 20 Sindh districts were declared calamity hit after last year’s unprecedented heavy rains. — AFP/File

KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly on Friday unanimously adopted a resolution asking the provincial government to approach the centre for exempting growers from loan recovery.

Agriculture Minister Ismail Rahu had moved the resolution initially on Tuesday, but the matter was deferred due to an abrupt adjournment following a brawl between treasury and opposition members.

Speaking on the resolution, he said that 20 districts of the province were declared calamity hit after last year’s unprecedented heavy rains.

He said that the coronavirus pandemic and locust attacks had piled miseries on the growers, making them unable to pay back the loans they got from banks.

Minister Rahu said: “Since all the banks follow the directives of the State Bank of Pakistan, which is under the administrative control of the federal government, we want the centre to direct the SBP for exempting Sindh growers from loan recovery of the last year.”

He also demanded that payment of loans secured in previous years be deferred.

Revenue minister says govt got no income from Bahria Town in the head of stamp duty, property transfer fee

Later, the house was adjourned till Monday.

During the proceedings, Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani expressed grave displeasure and annoyance over Tuesday’s ugly episode between Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf lawmakers.

“If you don’t want to be a parliamentarian and want to indulge in brawls, you could have a fight outside,” he told the members.

The speaker deplored the incident and said that such a thing had never happened in his parliamentary career of 30 years.

Referring to another incident in which security personnel of the assembly were manhandled and abused reportedly by PTI men, a visibly angry speaker asked those involved to mend their ways.

“Don’t threaten my staff. If you dare, come and face me, I’ll come alone outside,” he said, without mentioning anyone.

On Tuesday, PPP and PTI lawmakers scuffled when the latter’s disgruntled MPAs attended the sitting and both parties tried their best to take them away with them a day ahead of the Senate elections.

No revenue from Bahria Town, PA told

The house was informed that Bahria Town was still a sub-judice matter and no revenue had been earned in terms of stamp duty and registration fee for property transfer or registration during 2018, adds APP.

Responding to MPAs’ queries during Question Hour, Sindh Minister for Revenue and Relief Makhdoom Mehboob Zaman said that no stamp duty was collected on government land and the land had not been transferred to Bahria Town so far.

Replying to another question on the status of e-stamping and automated registration process, the minister said that the obsolete microfilming technology had been replaced with digital scanning and indexing by establishing six digital scanning units (DSUs) at divisional level in Karachi, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Sukkur, Larkana and Shaheed Benazirabad.

He said that all property deeds registered in Sindh were scanned and indexed at the DSUs.

He further said that the entire old record of registries available on 25,600 microfilm rolls in microfilming units had been converted into digital images.

The minister said that the details of all digitized registries were searchable online and the certified true copies of registries could be obtained within 30 minutes from the DSUs.

Online services like search registered deeds, online tracking of registry status, stamp duty calculator, deed templates, registration statistics, etc, had been made available online free of charge to facilitate the people of the province, he said.

He added that the reforms helped in reducing time of registering property in the province from 208 days to 17 days and improved Pakistan’s ranking in the ease-of-doing business index.

He said that they were also preparing software to stop fake entries.

Answering another question, he said that 27 Peoples Service Centres (PSCs) had been established in each district.

Published in Dawn, March 6th, 2021

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