KARACHI: The Sindh government on Thursday decided to write off over Rs7 billion loans lent to different government institutions from the provincial exchequer over the past three decades, on the ground that their records remained “untraceable despite all due efforts”.

The Sindh cabinet in its meeting chaired by Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah was informed that there was also an amount of over Rs174 million which was lent to various private parties and their record too “is neither traceable, nor recoverable”.

The Sindh cabinet met for a third time within a fortnight before its term is set to end next month. Although it has decided to write off the loans acquired by certain government institutions, it has asked the finance department to hold an inquiry into the missing record of the total amount of Rs174.863 million, extended as loans from the provincial exchequer to private parties.

“The finance department, briefing the cabinet about the old loans of which the record is untraceable, said that Rs7.2 billion loans advanced to government departments and organisations between 1982-83 and 2012-13 may be written off as recommended by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the sub-committee on finance,” said a statement issued by CM House after the meeting.

Orders probe into over Rs174m loans acquired by private parties

“The cabinet was told that Rs174.863 million loans advanced to private parties during the period from 1982-83 to 1992-93 were also long outstanding for which the record is neither traceable nor recoverable. The cabinet discussed the matter and approved the writing off of the loan of Rs7,204,280,508 outstanding against the government organisations and directed the finance department to inquire into the loan of Rs174,863,627 advanced to the private organisations/parties,” the statement read.

The cabinet also approved the project of Land Administration & Revenue Management Information System-II (LARMIS-II) for computerised registration of land record and properties.

Revenue Minister Makhdoom Mahboob earlier briefed the cabinet about the proposed project which contained different components such as e-registration, e-mutation, e-crop assessment, and upgradation of data centre.

The meeting also approved allotment of government land for the establishment of state-of-the-art industrial enclaves in Sukkur district and Deh Goondar, situated along Hyderabad-Tando Mohammad Khan dual carriageway, and another 500 acres in Deh Ganjo Takkar in Latifabad taluka of Hyderabad for the establishment of industrial enclaves as requested by the Sindh Economic Zones Management Company (SEZMC).

For the land in Sukkur, the statement said, it was decided to fix its price at 25 per cent of the market rate.

While approving in principle the allotment of pieces of land in other areas, the cabinet constituted a committee with Transport Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon, Irrigation Minister Jam Khan Shoro and Special Assistant to CM Qasim Naveed to discuss and ascertain their prices.

The cabinet also approved the allotment of two acres of land at Deh Naseerabad in Sukkur taluka for the State Bank of Pakistan and Banking Services Corporation for the establishment of their offices at a market price of Rs20 million per acre.

The cabinet was told that an entity, Children of Adam, USA, had requested for allotment of five acres to establish a neuro-psychiatric centre in Deh Phihai of Landhi.

The cabinet approved the request and allotted the land for the hospital.

Published in Dawn, July 28th, 2023

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