Sindh cabinet okays plan to bring 43 more buses for Karachi

Published January 7, 2023
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah chairs cabinet meeting at the CM House, Karachi on Friday. — Screengrab/CMHouse Twitter
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah chairs cabinet meeting at the CM House, Karachi on Friday. — Screengrab/CMHouse Twitter

KARACHI: The Sindh cabinet on Friday approved an amount of Rs1.7 billion for the purchase of 43 more 12-metre hybrid buses for the already operational Peoples Bus Service in the city.

The cabinet meeting, presided over by Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, was briefed by Transport Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon about a proposal to introduce more buses for Karachi.

The CM approved his proposal and ordered release of Rs1.7bn for procurement of buses.

Under the PBS project, around 250 air-conditioned buses have been imported from China. Of them, 130 buses are plying in Karachi on nine different routes, 10 in Hyderabad and six in Larkana.

The cabinet also discussed a proposal of launching the bus service for tourist sites in the province.

Reserved seats for transgender persons in local councils approved

Culture Minister Syed Sardar Shah was directed to submit a written proposal so that buses from Karachi to major tourist spots such as Keenjhar, Thar, Ranikot and other areas could be launched.

Sugar cane support price

CM’s Adviser on Agriculture Manzoor Wassan told the cabinet that he had held a number of meetings with all the stakeholders, including growers and millers to develop a consensus for the fixation of new sugar cane prices. The stakeholders had their own point of view.

He said that the Punjab government had fixed Rs300 per 40kg sugar cane price, therefore, he suggested the cabinet to fix Rs302 per 40kg for the crushing season 2022-23 starting from Nov 29, 2022.

The cabinet approved the fixation of the minimum price of sugar cane at Rs302 per 40kg and also fixed the quality premium rate at Rs0.50 (50 paisa) per 40kg as approved by the federal government in 1989-99.

It also approved the procurement of 300,000 tonnes of wheat from PASSCO (Pakistan Agricultural Storage & Services Corporation) so that the wheat requirement of the province could be met till the harvest of the new crop in early March.

The chief minister directed the food department to make necessary arrangements for the procurement of wheat, crop 2022-23 from early February so that the procurement target could be achieved.

Baldia factory victims’ pensions

Labour Minister Saeed Ghani told the cabinet that a German Brand, KiK Textilian, contributed $1 million for relief for the family of deceased and injured workers of the Baldia factory fire incident and the compensation commission established by the Sindh High Court under the chairmanship of Justice Rehmat Hussain Jaffery was assigned the work of disbursement of the funds.

He said that the provincial government through the Sindh Employees Social Security Institution had been disbursing the amount of death and survival pension to the lawful survivors of the deceased workers of the factory.

The cabinet was told that KiK offered to provide a long-term compensation of $5.15m, including a margin of $0.25m to International Labour Organisation, to be distributed among the victims by way of a lifetime pension scheme through SESSI on a monthly basis.

Minister Ghani told the cabinet that the ILO, Geneva wanted to transfer the fund to an insurance company as its payment agent.

The cabinet approved the request and allowed the labour department to sign a memorandum of understanding with ILO to transfer the funds to the insurance company so that pension disbursement could be ensured from there.

The cabinet approved reserved seats for transgender persons in the local councils after discussion on the allocation of reserved seats for six categories which included one seat each for women and youth members; labour or farmer; non-Muslim members; persons with disabilities; and transgender persons.

Besides the provincial cabinet granted education remission to nine lifers convicted by antiterrorism courts. These convicted prisoners had passed Adeeb Sindhi/Urdu, matriculation, and intermediate examinations and qualified for educational remission.

The health department presented an agenda item with the request to hand over the administrative control of Reduction of Stunting and Malnutrition to Peoples Primary health Initiative (PPHI), Sindh.

Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho told the cabinet that PPHI had already initiated nutrition services in Dadu and Jamshoro while the health department was running the programme in 21 districts.

The cabinet approved the proposal and allowed the health department to hand over the programme to PPHI.

The provincial cabinet on the request of Social Welfare Minister Sajid Jokhio approved the proposal to sign an agreement with the Anti-Narcotics Force to run two drug rehabilitation centres in Karachi.

The cabinet under the new local council arrangement approved handing over of 15 katchi abadis of district Central to the respective towns.

The cabinet also decided to activate its Sindh Petroleum Company by appointing Asim Murtaza as its chief executive officer.

Published in Dawn, January 7th, 2023

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