Murad renews call for inter-city bus ban to stem Covid-19 spread

Published April 2, 2021
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah addresses the inauguration ceremony of Institute of Animal Health in Korangi, Karachi on Thursday. — DawnNewsTV
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah addresses the inauguration ceremony of Institute of Animal Health in Korangi, Karachi on Thursday. — DawnNewsTV

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said on Thursday that he had proposed to the federal government to ban inter-city transport to break the Covid-19 chain, and Asad Umar, the minister concerned, had promised to consider the proposal at the next NCOC meeting.

“I am not advocating a lockdown, just ... a ban on inter-city bus transport service; the goods transport would keep functioning as usual,” he said.

The chief minister was talking to the media after inaugurating Sindh Institute of Animal Health in Korangi established by the livestock department. He was accompanied by Livestock and Fisheries Minister Bari Pitafi and PPP Senator Jam Mehtab Dahar.

Mr Shah said that another proposal he gave to the federal government was to open registration for Covid vaccination so that the number of willing people could be assessed for placing the order for procurement of the vaccine. “When we do not know how many people want to get vaccinations, how will we be able to place the order?” he said.

Wants to see PSL, international cricket matches played in Hyderabad

‘No differences with IGP’

CM Shah, brushing aside the impression of his differences with the inspector general of police, said that the home department through a letter had pointed out procedural requirements.

“I never develop differences with the inspector general of police and it was another government where six IGPs were changed within six months,” he said in a thinly veiled reference to the Punjab administration.

Replying to a question, the chief minister said that the home department through a letter to the IGP had pointed out a procedural requirement, otherwise it was not an issue.

Answering another question about the rotation policy of transfer and posting launched by the federal government, the chief minister said that there were 16 posts of grade 21 officers of the federal government in Sindh against which only six officers were working.

“These 16 officers of Grade BS-21 have been promoted against their quota in Sindh but they have been posted somewhere else,” he said and added that under such circumstances the provincial government had to post officers on own pay and scale (OPS).

In reply to another question, Murad Ali Shah said he had held a meeting with the Pakistan Cricket Board to rehabilitate Niaz Stadium, Hyderabad. “I am still of the opinion that the PSL and international cricket matches must be organised in Hyderabad and we are working on it,” he said and added that due to the Covid situation the implementation of the proposal had been delayed.

Livestock’s contribution

The chief minister said that the contribution of the agriculture sector to the national GDP was 19.3 per cent, whereas livestock contributed 60.6pc to agriculture and 11.7pc to the GDP.

“Agriculture, including livestock, is the mainstay of the masses in rural economy [and] cannot be lifted without interventions in livestock, which will ultimately result in development of allied sectors and direct employment in rural and remote areas,” he said.

The CM directed the livestock and fisheries department to introduce a scheme to install refrigeration systems in the storage tanks of the boats fishing in the deep sea.

Mr Shah said that only two industries had survived in a sustainable manner in Pakistan: technology or agro-based industry.

Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2021

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