KARACHI: Interim Chief Minister retired Justice Maqbool Baqar on Monday ordered inclusion of poverty-stricken slums and shanty towns of Karachi in the social protection programme.
Presiding over a meeting of the social protection department to review its progress, he observed that the poverty ratio in katchi abadis, slums and rural areas of the metropolis was equally higher as that of the rural areas of the province.
“Therefore, Karachi must be included in the social protection programme,” he said.
The Pakistan Peoples Party-led provincial government had made a budgetary provision of Rs16.9 billion for the poor social protection and economic sustainability programme.
The Sindh government had reserved Rs34bn for its ‘Pro-poor Social Protection and Economic Sustainability Initiative’ to financially support economically disadvantaged sectors of the province. One of the major components of the programme included the distribution of Rs20bn among the affected population in the shape of cash transfers.
The chief minister directed the social protection department to develop and efficiently implement an overarching need-driven and rights-based cross-sectoral social protection strategy for the poverty-stricken districts, including katchi abadis and slum areas of Karachi.
The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Dr Fakhre Alam, Social Protection Board Vice Chairman Haris Gazdar, P&D chairman Shakeel Manijo, CM’s SecretaryHassan Naqvi, Finance Secretary Kazim Jatoi and others.
The CM was told that under the social protection strategy, an effective Management Information System (MIS) for the social registry had been developed.
He was informed that the Bhook Mitao programme and the Benazir Women Agriculture Workers programme had been conducted under the initiative.
The chief minister said that the provincial caretaker government was persistently fighting to curb street crime in Karachi and dacoits in the riverine area and simultaneously working hard to bring in investment in the province by facilitating the investors.
He said this while addressing the participants of the National Security & War Course-24, led by Chief Instructor Maj Gen Amir Najam, who called on him here at CM House.
The meeting was briefed by P&D Chairman Shakeel Mangnejo and IG Police Riffat Mukhtar on the development and crime situation, respectively.
The provincial police said that so far 63,527 street crime cases, including 20,830 mobile snatchings, and 36,369 two-wheeler thefts had been registered during the current year so far.
To a question, the CM told the participants that police and Rangers had sped up targeted operations against street criminals and drug mafia who were also involved in street crimes.
The CM said that he had given a task to police and Rangers to eliminate street criminals through a crackdown.
“The police have also started developing data of the street criminals,” he added.
Published in Dawn, October 3rd, 2023