KARACHI: Amid protest by two main opposition parties, the Sindh Assembly on Friday passed the Sindh Evacuee Trust Properties (Management and Disposal) Bill, 2019 enabling the provincial government to manage evacuee properties attached to charitable, religious or educational trusts or institutions.
Presented by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla, the new provincial law also repeals the provision of the Evacuee Trust Properties (Management and Disposal) Act, 1975, a federal law, to the extent of Sindh.
The statement of objects and reasons of the new law said that the subject fell within the provincial domain and the provincial assembly was competent to enact a law in the subject matter as provided by Article 142 (c) of the Constitution in view of the abolition of the Concurrent Legislative List by the 18th Amendment.
After enactment of the bill, a board namely Sindh Evacuee Trust Property Board would also be established.
Opposition protests over water shortage in Karachi
While the house witnessed ruckus for umpteenth time with opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan protesting over water shortage in Karachi, the assembly completed its entire agenda by taking up all questions, calling-attention notices, privilege and adjournment motions and a government bill.
At the outset, the PTI and MQM-P members rose to speak on what they termed a very important matter for the people of Karachi. However, they were denied by Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani, who said: “I will give you time but let this agenda be completed.”
The chair’s assurances, however, did not stop the opposition members from protesting as they gathered in front of the rostrum, held placards inscribed with anti-government slogans and demands of provision of water.
Leader of the Opposition Haleem Adil Sheikh said that the people of Karachi were “dying” of water shortage. He demanded that the speaker allow opposition’s members to speak on the very important issue.
“Business of the house is also very important, I am assuring that you would be given floor to speak,” Speaker Durrani told the PTI and MQM-P members before calling Question Hour.
The speaker’s refusal prompted a strong protest by the opposition members, who started chanting slogans Karachi ko pani do (Give water to Karachi) and Pani chor, pani chor, Sindh hukumat pani chor (Sindh government is water thief).
After failing to calm down the protesting opposition members, the speaker had to adjourn the house for 10 minutes.
However, PTI and MQM-P lawmakers continued their protest even after resumption of the proceedings, but the chair kept calling agenda items.
The protesting members didn’t raise their questions during Question Hour and calling-attention notices but those asked by PPP members were responded to by the parliamentary secretary.
After Question Hour, the speaker asked Mohammad Hussain of the MQM-P if he wanted to speak on a point of order, but the latter refused and continued chanting slogans with his colleagues.
Responding to a calling-attention notice moved by Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal lawmaker Syed Abdul Rasheed, Education Minister Saeed Ghani said that matric and intermediate examinations would be held in July, adding that students would be giving exams of optional subjects only.
He said that duration of each paper would be reduced to two hours and it would comprise of 50 per cent multiple choice questions, 30pc short questions and 20pc long question.
“Examination would be held on time, if everything goes as per plan,” Mr Ghani hoped.
Speaking on his calling-attention notice, the lawmaker had asked the provincial government to defer the examinations, maintaining that the students were not fully prepared.
“Every student did not have facility to attend online classes,” he added.
Published in Dawn, June 5th, 2021